- Last Updated on Thursday, 26 November 2015 15:14
The cost of the festive season can mount up, eating into your January budget. It can be a long and difficult month, with money issues becoming a struggle.
Most people get paid around 16 of December and in addition they receive a 13th cheque. Given the craziness of the festive season, the money is soon spent, leaving very little to meet normal monthly expenses by January, let alone the extra financial burden of the New Year.
If you are a consultant, self-employed or working on commission you will most likely see a significant drop in your income in January. This is because virtually no work happens from 16th December so you need to plan for your December salary to last for two months. Put a strategy in place now so that you do not have to take on debt at the start of the year.
Write up a proper budget for January and put away the money you will need. This is the time of year when we are hit with annual expenses like school fees (as well as books and uniforms), annual subscriptions and membership fees so the budget needs to stretch even further. Do this before the start of the festive season – not at the end of it where the amount needed cannot be met by the amount available.
Revise your annual budget
You will be notified by your service providers about their annual increases so factor those into your annual budget. Also remember other expenses for the year like an extra pair of school shoes or new clothing for your child that is growing like a beanstalk.
Buy practical gifts for January
In the new year, retailers will be all set with their back-to-school campaigns, so rather than letting them have a go at your pocket twice, give practical gifts in December that also lessen the financial burden on your family in January. How about school shoes or a really funky school bag?
If you receive your 13th cheque, double up on purchases for two months and get discounts on bulk purchases.
Opt for a 13th cheque
Even if they don’t pay an annual bonus, many companies allow you to structure your salary to include a 13th cheque. Speak to your employer as this is a great option to force you to save for the end of the year. If you do use this option, make sure you use it wisely.
Revised by M Collins