January is arguably the month that most people are not ready for when it arrives. They probably spent loads of money on December celebrations and put it to the back of their minds that January was a few days away. Many people have dubbed this month Janu-worry because of the financial stress that it brings.
Here are 9 tips to help you get through January until your payday.
1. Evaluate Damage
December is the month that most people look forward to with excitement as they get to spend more time with their families and friends. If you got too excited in December and spent way over your budget, don’t beat yourself about it, you are not alone. Go through your bank statements to understand your current financial position.
2. Make a Budget
Once you know where you stand financially, write a list of your monthly expenses starting with the most important expenses such as food, children’s school uniform and stationary, and other expenses depending on your lifestyle. Compare the list of the monthly expenses that you have created against the money that you have at the moment. Now you can make informed decisions of what you can and cannot afford. Hopefully, you can afford your most important expenses.
3. Sort Out Your Upcoming Payments
Yes, it is January but it is important to ensure that your monthly debit orders don’t bounce. You don’t want a reduced credit score because you couldn’t settle your debts in January. Make notes of other important payments, it could be the money you had borrowed from your friend and promised to pay them this month. Remember, like you, the people you owe money to also have expenses to take care of with the money that you owe them.
4. Try Not to Borrow Money
When making a list of expenses it is our wish to afford all of them and some people start to panic when what they have in their bank accounts can’t cover all of them. This panic even leads to borrowing money that comes with extremely high interest rates from the loan sharks. This is a bad idea, even more when you are in a financial crisis as your financial state will simply worsen.
5. Shop for Deals
January is the month where you must be more cautious of how much you spend. Avoid being tempted to spend money on unnecessary items when shopping for your basic items. At a shopping centre, go around comparing prices from different shops for the same basic items. Don’t settle for the first price you see.
6. Sell Unwanted Items
If you really can’t afford all your most important expenses, you need to look around the house and find items that you use less or no longer use so you can sell them. You are better off living in a house that has no TV than living on the streets with your TV because you couldn’t afford to pay rent.
7. No More Luxuries
When you start calling January, ‘Janu-worry’ you have probably over-indulged in December. You have had all the luxuries and the best times of your life. But now, it is the time for you to cut back. Avoid eating expensive restaurant meals and familiarise yourself with your own kitchen again.
8. Left Overs Save
Before January you might have been buying your lunch from the shops that are near your workplace. If that was the case, you should consider cooking extra portions of your dinner and bring in the left overs to work for lunch the following day.
9. Keep Yourself Indoors
In December, the lockdown regulations were less strict than they were for most of 2020. Many people spent a lot of the time outdoors enjoying themselves with friends. But this kind of spending while outdoors has a negative impact on your bank balance. Now it is time for you to stay indoors as you will not feel pressured to spend unnecessarily when you are at home.
December, with its many year-end celebrations, may have caused a significant strain on your finances but you can still survive Jan-worry. You just need to make some changes to your lifestyle to accommodate your budget.
Do you want to know why we have to save money? Read here to find out.
Tell us: What measures are you putting in place to survive Janu-worry?