Tips for surviving January without going (further) into debt
While it’s the month of fresh beginnings, January can also feel like “JanuWorry” to many people. After all the fun and spending of the festive season, many joke that January feels like it’s three months long because the wait until the next pay cheque seems to take forever.
So, how can you to your next pay cheque without worrying about how you’re going to afford the day-to-day, as well as any unexpected expenses? The solution is treading carefully so that you’re not in crisis by the end of January.
These tips will help take the worry out of JanuWorry:
Look at your current household expenses and identify areas where you can cut costs. The key is to prioritise things that matter the most, such as insurance and medical care.
Shop smart and take advantage of discounts offered by shops. The savings might seem insignificant, but they could help you save a substantial amount over time. Also, take advantage of rewards programmes. Remember to only buy what you need, not what you want, even if there is a discount attached.
Use your loyalty rewards
If you have any loyalty cards, check if you’ve accumulated any cashback. This will help when paying for groceries or school supplies.
Sell your goods
Do you have any used items (or unwanted Christmas gifts) that you’re happy to part with? There are many platforms such as Gumtree and various Facebook groups where you can sell your unwanted items.
Buy second hand
Many schools have second-hand book shops and uniform shops, so you can save significantly buying “previously loved” school essentials.
Arrange a lift scheme/lift club
If your kids are starting school, look around for parents near you who are willing to join in a lift scheme. Not having to do school lifts every day can help you save. You could also start a lift club if you work with someone who lives close to you.
Get inventive with your meals
You don’t need to live on toast alone in January – there are lots of budget-friendly meals that you can whip up. Try to use as much of the food in your cupboards without having to buy more. Get creative! There are great resources online – a favourite is Taste of Home.
Pack your own lunches
If you normally have your lunch or coffee at work, calculate what this is costing you per month. Limit how much you spend there per month and bring food from home to save extra cash.
Look at forms of “free” entertainment, such as picnics in the park. How about a movie night at home with homemade popcorn?