KeDezemba vibes are upon us. Pushing through the last lap.
Daytime drinking for those enjoying the season’s festivities. Spoiling ourselves a bit. Getting paid early. It’s all fun and games until mid-January comes in like a wrecking ball.
Not to spoil the festive mood but January is five days away. January is considered to be the longest month by many South Africans.
And it creeps up on us silently, without warning, after a month of overspending on everything and it doesn’t help the cost of living is through the roof. Most of us could use some advice on how to get through the month of “JanuWorry”.
People typically have many expenses, including rent, back-to-school chaos for parents, uniform and stationery purchases, as well as fuel and transportation costs. And most of us have already spent the bulk of our December salary, which is intended to last us through the first month of the new year.
The month of January doesn’t have to be spent breathing through a wound, said Craig Newborn, CEO of a local “Buy Now, Pay Later” provider.
You can avoid a lot of financial stress this January by making a smart budget and saving money in the following ways:
Make a budget (and stick to it)
Make the effort to create a weekly budget for the upcoming few months. A budget simply put is a spending plan. There are several budget template options available online if you’re unsure how one should look.
Make sure you know the prices of the items you wish to purchase, keep an eye out for promotions, and shop in bulk if at all possible. It’s critical to note that many retailers lower their prices in January, so if at all possible, postpone your shopping until then “You can even form a collective with friends or family.
This way, fresh products won’t get wasted and you’ll save on petrol. And then take that spare cash and put it in a savings account, or pay off some debt,” said Newborn.
Use your rewards and loyalty points
Do you have a large number of unclaimed awards and loyalty points? Use your loyalty programmes to their full potential. When you purchase on particular days, for instance, many retailers may double your points or give you additional discounts. Continue to check your loyalty programmes.
Look for alternative ways to pay
You shouldn’t use a credit card if you are unable to pay the full balance each month. Additionally, you will pay interest on credit cards, store cards and payday loans. Consider other options, such as purchasing your products now and paying them off later.
This will enable you to purchase your holiday goodies, stationery and school uniforms – and pay them off interest-free over three months. “This allows you to manage your cash flow much better,” he said.
More than anything it’s important to make sure you’re choosing options that align with your salary dates, “A lot of buy now pay later providers require payments every two weeks.
In South Africa, the majority of our salaries are paid monthly, so it makes sense to opt for a monthly instalment model,” said Newborn.