Finance 3 min read

January Budgeting: How to Make Your December Payday Last

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Published on Nov 29, 2021
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It’s the Festive Season and an early payday is on the cards, woohoo! But what with all the festive cheer, we know it can be really easy to blow it all before Santa Clause and his reindeers have even hit their sleigh.

The problem with the early December paycheck is that it’s arguably the most expensive month of the year for most people - and that your next payday can seem a long, long time away. 

So how do you manage to make it last through the dreaded 5 weeks of January? Take a look at some of our top tips on how to make your paycheck stretch, whilst still being able to fully enjoy the Holiday Season (you deserve it!):

Buy Christmas Gifts in Advance

Your December paycheck will likely come just before Christmas, but do not be tempted to dip into it for your Christmas gifts shopping!

With a long month ahead, it’s important that you try to save your December paycheck for January.

Ensure all Christmas gifts are factored into November’s disposable income, and that your Christmas gifts are all purchased from stores such as Not On The High Street way before Christmas. This will also save you a heap of stress, too, trust us!

A hand placing a coin in a glass jar full of coins which is labelled budget
Create a Budget

We know ‘budget’ gets thrown around a hell of a lot. But if you want to make your cash stretch further, then a budget really is the way to do it!

Create a solid budget for both December and January that you’ll be able to stick to when buying your Christmas gifts from stores such as Etsy. Consider any Christmas bonuses from work that you may receive within it - as well as all of your usual monthly expenses. 

From this, you should be able to calculate your disposable income for over the 2 months - so that you’re still able to enjoy everything you want to do without worrying about compromising your monthly bills. And if you’ve been good this year, you may even find yourself with some cash Christmas gifts which would be a real bonus!

Separate Essentials From ‘Fun’

For a budget this time of year with so much going on, it’s important to keep your monthly essential expenses separate. So that’s where your budget for your disposable cash comes in

You could look at transferring your disposable income to a separate account so that you’re able to manage your spending better, or even head to the bank and draw it out as cash. 

Either way, once you have your disposable cash together, you should then consider separating it into smaller budgets for all your individual festive events so that you know what you can, and can’t do. This could include buying your decorations from TK Maxx, as well as your spending for Christmas markets, meals out, and drinks with friends.

A happy couple looking through a shop window which says 30% off
Shop Around for A Bargain

We know how easy it is to get wrapped up in the festive season and want to join in on every event! But don’t worry, as long as you make sure you shop around first, you’ll be able to join in on a lot more than you may think.

If you’re wanting to go out for a meal with the family, drinks with friends, or even grab some tickets to a local event - then just make sure you look out for a deal first, take a look at Groupon before you book any tickets for events! You could look up your favourite bar’s happy hour time before heading out, and discount codes with money off or 241 special offers will be your best friend over the festive period!

Here at Hey Discount, we provide discount codes for almost anything you could think of, and we can guarantee you’ll be able to find a promo code for you! Just check out our discount categories page for inspo. 


Save Receipts

Another good tip for stretching that cash throughout January is to save all of those pesky receipts! 

Whether you’ve got a bit carried away in the Boxing Day Sales (we don’t blame you) - or maybe bought some unwanted Christmas gifts for family and friends - receipts will always come in very handy if you find yourself falling short of cash toward the end of the month. 

Better still, pay for gifts in cash and ask for a gift receipt so that your recipient can return their gift themselves if they wish. This will save you time, as well as money as you won’t have to be out-of-pocket for any length of time whilst completing the refund and waiting for the money to go back into your bank account.

three women sat around a table drinking tea, smiling and laughing

Make Simple Cutbacks

Getting through the five weeks of January after probably the most expensive time of the year will always be tough! So it’s important that you accept this early and look for ways to help reduce your expenses.

Just a few small cutbacks but make the real difference to help you through the month. You could invite friends over for food some nights rather than going out. Bulk buy your food shopping from Morrisons and batch cook meals that you can freeze. Make pack up for work rather than buying a meal deal or going out for lunch. 

Just make a conscious effort to spend a little less each week, even if it doesn’t seem like a big deal - and you’ll definitely feel the benefit through that final stretch of the month.

And there you have it! If you need any more advice on how to prepare and save money in the run-up to Christmas – please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

You should also be sure to check out our other articles, too, for tonnes of money-saving advice on household bills, holidays, and more.


Charlotte Marshall

Lead Editor

Being a full-time content writer and part-time shopaholic, globe-trotter and avid lover of all things food (and wine)...I love researching the best money-saving hacks so that I can help fuel my own passions, and yours!


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