Feeling the post-December pinch?
January is the time of the year when people take a moment to step in front of the mirror and make bold declarations of lifestyle changes and goals that they want to achieve. Another of these annual resolutions is managing finances better.
We have compiled some practical tips on how to survive the post-December pinch.
1. Try not to borrow
Sometimes borrowing money helps build wealth, but if you find yourself wanting to borrow money in January, catch yourself. All this does is put you in a position where you will have less money in the months to come, on account of the repayments. If it is not an emergency, rather start the year clean financially.
2. Spend less
December, the month of swiping your card without checking the SMS notification is over. From here on; if it doesn’t help you keep your job or stay alive, don’t buy it.
3. Home is where the meal is
Forget takeaways and eating out, this is the perfect time for more home-cooked meals. It might require more investment in time but it will save lots of money. This might give you the opportunity to exercise your creative side since it’s likely your cupboards may not be full of choices.
4. Prioritise your money
Have a list of the important expenses that cannot be avoided.
These may include your prepaid electricity bill, school fees, stationery, uniforms and transport to and from work. Ideally, you would have set money aside in December. To avoid the temptation to spend the money on something else that may look like an emergency at the time, try to get these expenditures out of the way as early as possible in the month. Otherwise, set the money aside in a cash stash account and transfer money as the expenses slowly come up.
5. Specials and group buying
Retail specials, discounts and “buy 1, get 1 free” promotions are your best friends. Try to spot these bargains in food stores and stationery stores. Also look into to bulk purchases from wholesale stores when you and family members or friends have similar items on your shopping list. It comes out much cheaper than buying individually.
6. Sell it!
Selling unused items or unwanted Christmas presents could give you a much-needed cash boost. Try one of South Africa’s top classified sites, like Gumtree or OLX.
7. Other tips to reduce the financial pressure and survive JanuWorry and FebuWorry:
- Save petrol money by car-pooling to work.
- Stay home at weekends and find indoor entertainment and games.
- Bring and braai when hosting guests.
- Hide your credit card if you have one.
- Persuade your debtors to pay up.
- Your presence versus a present for friends and families whose birthdays happen to fall in the month where finances are tight.
- Avoid social media networks so you do not get trapped in the F.O.M.O (Fear Of Missing Out) when you don’t have money to keep up with the Joneses.
- Lastly, if all hell breaks loose, don’t suffer quietly, call a friend and call your creditors to avoid being blacklisted.
- To motivate your money habits moving forward into 2019, a quote by investment guru, Warren Buffet says: “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.”