Every January the memes start, and the month seems longer than the ones before, and we swear next year we’ll be better with our money. So many of us get January’s paycheck earlier in December, and although we know it’s supposed to stay in our account till January, the self-control is weak. And we dip into next month’s salary… And come January, we feel the Wallet Hangover.
When people hear we have TWO birthdays in January (my husband and our eldest), they give me this “aw shame” or “ouch!” look. But it’s never been like that for us. It’s not a surprise that they have their birthdays. I don’t wake up in January a week before they turn one year older and think “Oh my hat! What am I going to do?!” We know. So we prepare. And put aside.
In the early years of our marriage, we literally had just enough to pay our rent and put food on the table. So finding an extra couple hundred in January to pay for a gift, cake and invite his family for coffee, was impossible. But I grew up in a house where birthdays were a BIG deal, and I wanted to make sure my family experienced the same.
So starting Sept/Oct, I would put aside R50 (R100 as the years got a little better) and any change I would find. By the time his birthday came, I was able to comfortably and confidently invite people over and get a pretty nifty gift.
Obviously it’s a little late to put aside money now for January if you are feeling the January Hangover, BUT I have some fantastic tips to whip your wallet back into shape this month, and help you save the last few bucks you still have.
It’s not your salary that makes you rich, it’s your spending habits.– Charles A Jaffee
This month, to help your wallet recover from its holiday hangover, I will help you save money, get money, and spend money wisely. These tricks have been tried and tested, and we would love to hear your feedback. So ahead; try these!
We have a couple ways we save this month. Firstly, take inventory of your fridge and freezer, and find food to cook. Meal plan. (Have a more in-depth look at how HERE) Next, go to the store ONLY ONCE a week. If you run out of bread, eat something else. No milk for you coffee? Drink it black. Or have tea.
Don’t save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.Warren Buffet
Saving money by actually putting money away in a separate account, or an envelope at the back of your closet is a secure way to recover from January’s wallet hangover. I love following @financialfitnessforwomen as she also gives excellent budgeting and finance tips in a South African context. One of these was a weekly and a monthly savings plan. I have started with the monthly one, but you’re not too late to jump into the year-long weekly savings challenge.
Then lastly, my challenge for January is a hard one, but a do-able one. From 14 January to 19 January we will be doing a spending freeze. This means that we will not be spending a CENT during this (one) week. Ensure you car has enough fuel for the week on Sunday, your meals are planned for the week and grocery shopping done. Don’t overstock. The idea is not to spend double in one week, and zero the next. It’s mostly a mental challenge, but not spending money for a week WILL help you save money.
Your mission – should you choose to accept – for the month of January, is to find 5 things in your house to sell. Facebook Marketplace has become a great new friend. You are on Facebook anyway, so just click on the Marketplace Icon (it’s the one of the house), snap a photo or two, add a price and details, and share! It’s that simple.
It doesn’t have to be huge items, but if you are like me, you have a bunch of soft toys in your kids’ room that you could get rid of. That juicer that’s been taking up space in your kitchen? The baby necessities that she’s outgrown? Let it go.
Also, don’t get greedy. You want your items to sell, so let it go for a bargain.
Going to the store? PLAN. Before you even step a foot in a store, plan what you are buying, and add up as you add items to your cart to ensure you stay in your budget. (Read more on Saving when Shopping here)
Use the app – SnapnSave – (use the code Simonev639 to receive R10 when you snap your first coupon) when you shop to receive FREE CASH while shopping for the regular items you buy. Use your loyalty cards when shopping, and fuelling up.
The less you go to a store, the less likely you are to spend money!
Whenever I get too relaxed with my weekly budget, I do a cash-only week. I keep the cash I need for the week in my different envelops, and can physically see my money get less. This forces me to firmly stay within my budget.
I truly hope this January is filled with positives this year, and that your finances get a great makeover as you learn how to better use the money you have, as you save and spend in 2019!
Link to YourFamily savings programmes here.