The Christmas period over and now comes one of the more troublesome times for householders, as they face a time when prices and taxes rise. The insurance price comparison website Rastreator has undertaken a survey into Spanish concerns at this time of the year and finds that, despite these rises, there is also a certain improvement in household budgets. Although a half of those surveyed limited their spending in December in expectation of costs in January, this number was down on last year, thus denoting greater household optimism.  

Generally, forecasts for 2016 are positive because of economic improvement and the fall in the price of oil, which means that the cost hike of January is more bearable than last year. Nevertheless, more than half the respondents say that January is an especially difficult time financially and place it ahead of the costs of holidays, of the return to school in September and of credit-card repayments. 

Because of the concern that January causes, households adopt measures to deal with it by, for example, making purchases during retailers’ sales periods and making price comparisons before making a purchase. More than a half cut back on their spend on going out and also save up during the rest of the year or use the extra monthly payment in December to tackle the January hike. Women between the ages of 45 and 54 apparently feel the pinch more than others, while younger people between 25 and 34 are those who are least concerned by the January period.