Money tips for a long January
All the Christmas presents, get-togethers, extra braais and vacation days do have an impact on one’s budget during January. Not even to mention the back-to-school expenses you have to consider. January can feel never-ending and can really be hard on your finances. Luckily, you don’t have to be a financial guru to get your finances in check.
Here are a few ways to stretch those Rands a little bit further to get to payday.
Evaluate your finances. Assess how much you have spent over the festive season and what is left for the rest of the month. Set a budget for your essential monthly expenses, bills, and necessities. The best way to get through this time and maybe even save some money is to take on the “No Spend January” challenge. It’s a great way to jump-start the new year and establish new saving goals from the get-go. This will also make you more aware of your spending habits.
It is important that the whole family works together to achieve an overall better financial mindfulness within the household. This is also a great way to spend more time with your family at home without spending extra money on activities elsewhere.
- Avoid sales.
End of season sales is going to be everywhere! So, steer clear of malls, your favourite websites, or just any place that might tempt you to purchase needless stuff. If the sale items include grocery items that you regularly use, you can consider it. But buying marked down Christmas decorations and Santa Claus chocolates are not necessities.
- Save on transportation.
Avoid making use of your car every day by joining a carpool group. This way you can save on some petrol by making use of a ride opportunity. And you won’t be as stressed navigating through loads of traffic every day!
Working from home has also become the norm at some companies. Try and negotiate a few extra days to work from home to help lower your expenses.
- Don’t buy lunch.
This doesn’t mean cancelling lunch altogether; it just means not buying lunch at expensive restaurants or take-away spots each day. Prepare a homemade lunch and breakfast to take to work. Make use of last night’s leftovers. It’s much healthier anyway, and you’ll be surprised how much money just your daily take-away cappuccino adds up to each month.
Remember that you can always treat yourself again come month-end.
- Spend time at home.
By this time, you’ve attended quite a lot of gatherings and events. Enjoy some time at home this month. Make use of your Netflix and Showmax accounts and spend this time doing the things you don’t get the time to do throughout the year. As previously mentioned, this is the best opportunity to get the family together for some quality time.
- Sell some stuff.
This is the perfect time of year for some organisation and decluttering. Throw out any unnecessary stuff, and should it include some sellable items, use the multiple platforms out there like Facebook Marketplace to make a few extra bucks. Not only will you be getting rid of unwanted items, but you’ll also be able to save up for something you really want.
At the end of January, re-evaluate your finances. You might just be amazed to find a few extra rands in your pocket. We hope these tips help you get through the first part of the new year successfully. All you need is some commitment and a no-spend attitude. This exercise will make you more attentive to what you and your family spend your money on.