Avoid the Janu-Worry Blues and start 2022 on the right note

We have all endured some tough times this year. The pandemic and lockdown brought with it unemployment, the rising cost of living, and a whole host of other financial burdens.

Now that the festive season is here, you will be looking forward to unwinding and spending quality time with your loved ones. But the holidays also mean dining out and shopping which can be heavy on the wallet. Most companies will pay their staff their December salary and bonuses in mid-December, by the 16th in some cases. That salary would need to carry you through to the next payday at the end of January. And this is where Janu-Worry was born, whilst all the reveling that goes on during the festive season most people tend to overspend and then experience a very long, tough January. Not a great start to the year!

So what can you do to avoid falling into the Janu-Worry financial trap?

Set aside money for January

When you receive your December Salary, set aside money to cover your expenses in January. Ensure that you have adequate funds to cover bills that need to be paid at the end of December and early January. You will need money for transport, if you have pre-paid electricity and cell phone accounts, set an amount for that. Keep a certain amount aside for any miscellaneous costs that may occur at the beginning of the New Year.

Plan Ahead

Holidays mean hosting dinners with family and friends. If you are a parent, your little ones are home and constantly raiding the cupboards and fridge for snacks. You should take advantage of Black Friday and stock up on your groceries in advance.

Set a Budget

If you intend on going out for meals and taking the kids out for fun activities, it’s a good idea to set a budget that you will stick to. Swiping a debit or credit card you can often lose track of how much has been spent in a day, try using cash for entertainment purposes. That way you can manage your spending more closely.

Gifting made easy

Making a list of gifts you will be purchasing, and the amount you will be spending will help curb overspending when out shopping for Christmas gifts. One of the most requested gifts by kids today is a cellular phone, it can be very costly. Take advantage of some of the great Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals from the leading cellular networks. Once purchased, make sure to keep the gift well hidden so that your kids don’t find them when gift snooping.

Make use of rewards program points. 

Something that many consumers don’t realize, the rewards programs that many banks and stores offer can be used over the festive season. Like Standard Bank, the UCount Rewards system can be used for fuel and groceries purchases among other things. Also, some retailers offer a points system, you could save those rewards during the year and use them in December to purchase gifts and some of the more luxury items that you have been eyeing.

A tough January would have a snowball effect on the rest of the year as you will always be in catch-up mode. You have worked hard and deserve a great festive season but with a little planning, you will ensure that you start 2022 on the most positive note and with your bank account looking great.

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