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Assessing your finances after the holidays

For many people, January is a welcome reprieve from the joyful but exhausting mania of the end of year celebrations that dominate December. From Santa-induced hysteria with grandchildren, family holidays, homemade meals for extended family members, and outings with friends, many people find themselves starting the year both physically and financially depleted.

Rest assured, there are plenty of easy and practical ways to get your finances back on track for 2018, from generating some extra cash to finding new and creative ways to save helping you to get your finances back on track for the rest of the year.

Create savings 

Every day we encounter seemingly small expenses that, over the course of a month, can add up. A daily coffee habit could cost you close to $100, as could a bottle of wine once a week.

After a month of indulgence during the festive season, committing to making coffee at home or giving up alcohol can be a great way to get your finances and your health back on track.

Even if you don’t go out to dinner very often, you’d be surprised at how much money you can save by being smarter about the way you cook at home. A rotisserie chicken, for example, can be crafted into a wide variety of different meals. In addition to the traditional chicken and veggies, the smaller parts of the chicken can make an excellent chicken salad or sandwich and the bones can be used to make chicken broth.

Foregoing meat altogether for the month of January is also a surprisingly lucrative challenge. If the majority of your meals feature red meat, you could easily be spending more than $100 per month. Seek the advice of your doctor before you commit to this one, and read up on protein substitutes and delicious vegetarian recipes.

Simplify socialising

If you find that many of your social activities revolve around spending money, it might be worth looking at some cheaper alternatives.

Instead of getting coffee or going out to lunch, consider some more affordable alternatives. Going for a walk with friends, for example, is a great way to rediscover your local area or even somewhere further afield. You’ll be socializing and, as an added benefit, it’s an excellent form of low resistance exercise.

Create a new revenue stream 

If you’re not sure about giving up your morning coffee, there are plenty of other ways to generate extra income.

If you have a spare room, AirBnB can be an excellent way to generate some extra income, and meet interesting new people.

The service gives travellers the opportunity to stay in people’s homes. You can rent out your entire house, one room, or even your garden to attract more intrepid, tent pitching guests.

Older hosts are among the most highly sought after. In fact, in Australia, senior hosts are the fastest growing host age bracket, with an increase of 47.81 per cent. Hosts aged between 60 and 90 years now make up 16 per cent of all active hosts around Australia with nearly 70 per cent of these hosts being women. Globally, the over-60 aged group is also the most loved, with almost 90 per cent of hosts receiving five star ratings.

Not only is AirBnB a profitable form of revenue it can be a great way to meet new and interesting people, with many hosts speaking about forging unlikely connections with their guests which last a lifetime.

Guests go through several forms of identity checks, and have been reviewed by previous hosts, so you know exactly who is coming to stay. You are also able to accept or reject bookings, easily allowing you, as the host, to weed out anyone who seems like they might not be the right fit for you and your home. Better still, you can decide when you want to make your home available, and when you don’t.