, Christmas brews January blues
The Holiday Season is with us and honestly, it is time to spoil yourself and your loved ones. I know many of you have begun shopping and spending ridiculous amounts of money on luxuries and holidays. While it is more than okay to spoil yourself once a year, it is important to remember that January is around the corner and you will need to fulfill your financial obligations. As we spend, let us remember to work within our means and plan for the future (January). You definitely do not want to be caught by surprise when an emergency arises or be among those who use the phrase ‘Njaanuary’ or ‘Janworry’.
So how do you make sure you will survive the long, ‘gloomy’ month of January? Here are a few tips:
- Create a budget – You definitely need a budget for the holiday season. By creating one you avoid overspending and impulse buying. We are all lured by the word SALE to purchase various goods and services. The mistake most of us make is buying more (quantity) because we think we are spending less yet in reality we are actually spending more. If you have not created a budget, it is not too late. Make a list of everything you need to buy – from the family dinner to individual gifts – and place a price tag on each item. Remember to include your travel expenses (if any) and any other luxuries. Once you have done that, stick to your budget and withhold yourself from going overboard.
- Say NO to loans – The worst mistake you can make is beginning the New Year in debt. If you prepare your budget well in advance and stick to it then you should have no problem. Use what you have and do not spend beyond your limit.
- Pay your bills ‘TODAY’ not ‘TOMORROW’ – Use your salary to pay your January bills. This will help you avoid late payments, defaulting and the long payment queues that January comes with. By doing this you are confident that when the New Year begins you will have no bills to pay and can use your 13th salary to survive through the month.
- Do not be pressurized – It is unfortunate that during the Holiday Season most of us are ‘pressured’ to attend events, travel or hang out with friends. While it is good to socialize and have a good time, we forget that these plans may injure our pockets. Impromptu events cause more harm than we know. Keep them few and do not overindulge.
- Shop early, Travel early – This will avoid the hustles of increased fares, queues, traffic jams and most importantly you will save time. Unfortunately, many accidents tend to happen during the festive season because folks are in a hurry to get to their destination and those in the business want to make their big bucks. Do yourself and your family a favor by planning ahead. This way you get quality goods/services and do not have to worry.
- Say NO to January blues by doing the above – More often than not, we want to go to as many events and road trips as we can and even buy as much as we can. If you manage to do the above listed points, you will be able to manage yourself and your desires. Your body will be more relaxed and you will have a good amount of money to take you through January. However, when you overindulge, you end up broke and in debt and you will definitely go through the January blues.
Finally, do not forget to enjoy the holiday season. I am encouraging you to spend as you save for tomorrow; not to be a miser.
Best wishes to you and your family during this Holiday Season; Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Be safe my friends.