After the Christmas holiday season, it may feel like the holiday bonus and the early December salary has been depleted. People conveniently forget or just ignore all the parties attended, the Christmas dinner grocery bills, the new clothes, shoes and accessories laying in the closet. Although it may feel like the bank statement reflected is lying, there is no mistake, the money is spent.
If you have found yourself in this predicament as the holidays come to a close and life returns to normal, here are some tips to help you survive, what can feel like ninety days in January.
Work on your credit card debt
Swiping the card to cover holiday expenses may have happened throughout the season. The credit card bills does not care that it’s January and that funds are low. Kendall Little in his article advises that, a concrete plan to pay down credit card debt, starting with the cards with the highest interest rate first, is the way to go.
Set a Budget… and stick to it
This tip does not just apply to January, but should really be a best practice in managing personal finances throughout the year. Have a specific dollar amount for all expenditure; bills, food, gas/bus fare and entertainment. Include a savings amount to add to current savings account, which should only be used in cases of emergencies.
Learn to Say No
Friends sometimes take Christmas celebration well into January. Some may be born in the month and will issue invitations to celebrate. If accepting the invitation is within the created budget, it is fine to go out and celebrate as well. However, if a deceit exists when asked, it as also suitable, and advised, to inform friends of the inability to partake. Candice Elliot in “What To Do If You’re The Broke Friend” states, “Unless you have jerks for friends, they are unlikely to shame you for admitting honestly that you can’t afford to go out or can’t afford the place they are suggesting.”
Take Your Lunch and Water
Cooking at home and taking to work is a key ingredient when it comes to saving money. When grocery shopping, plan meals around discounted items, as well as low cost items. Taking water/water bottle to work is also a great way to reduce spending while out. For festive days, mix a little lemonade.
Stay tuned to Jamaica Live
Jamaica Live is very aware of the budget strains that exists in January and we are offering our followers a chance to win supermarket vouchers valued at ten, fifteen or twenty thousand JMD, to make the month feel a little lighter. Keep up with our social media pages throughout the month to find out how to enter each week.