It’s that time of the year again: credit cards are maxed out on Christmas gifts and New Year’s celebrations, and you’re left wondering about how to make it through the month of January with the money from December’s early pay-check. Your financial prospects might seem dire, but it’s much easier than you think.
There are several ways to save the money that will get you through this first month of the year, but it may require a tad bit of effort. Here are some tips on how to thrive on a low budget during the month of January.
1-Set a financial plan:
Being low on money is one thing, but not having a plan is something else. Keeping in mind that a considerable amount of your early paycheck will be spent on the holiday celebrations, assess how your situation will be after. If you expect to find yourself short on money, you might want to shuffle your spending priorities by reducing your biggest expenses or even pushing a payment into the month after. You can also identify unnecessary expenses and temporarily eliminate them until you are back on your feet again!
2-Cancel unused subscriptions (like Netflix, or other apps, gym, etc.)
Some things are necessities, but others aren’t. If you’re tight on money, cut down spending on things you don’t need. Unused subscriptions are simply a waste, so if you haven’t been to the gym in four months, maybe it’s time to cancel your subscription. You might also want to cancel your Netflix account if you haven’t been on it for a while, and this is especially relevant as you begin to adjust to the new year’s workload and responsibilities. If the gym is too much of a priority, maybe you can save money on your heating bill by using the heater less when you don’t need it.
Christmas sales are still going strong, way after the Christmas spirit has passed. You can find everything - from clothes to electronics - on sale, and for good prices, in almost any mall. So, lean on those sales, because they might help when you need that pair of boots, yet your bank account isn’t cooperating. And, just because something is on sale, doesn’t mean you should buy it right now! Try to premeditate your purchases and consider whether something is a necessity or just a luxury.
4-Don’t eat out - appreciate that good old homemade food!
You probably spent your holidays eating in some of the fine restaurants that this country has to offer, and you’ve maybe even been hosting lunches and dinners for your friends and family. This can sometimes be an occasion to overspend, which may leave us a bit short on funds for the next month. One solution is to stop, or at least moderate eating out, and start making your own food at home. Homemade food is cheaper and way more fun to make, so treat yourself to some of your own cooking! You can even store it in a Tupperware container, and take it to work, instead of ordering in every day - that’ll definitely save you a whole lot!
5-Avoid taking your car when you can - carpooling is fun!
Anyone who drives on-the-daily knows how stressful and expensive the commute can be. If you’re short on money, it would be better if you can walk to nearby places. If you’re going on a longer trip, try carpooling. Get together with friends, classmates, or colleagues who live nearby and create a carpooling schedule. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved!
6-Profit from those collected points and promo codes
Chances are that you are probably subscribed to some sort of loyalty program for a mall, bank, or restaurant. So, if you’re tight on money, maybe it’s time to benefit from all those points you’ve been collecting with every purchase! Redeeming your points for gifts can be a life-saver during the holiday period. You might also want to use all the promo codes you have on things like food and taxi rides. A 20% discount on your lunch, or your next taxi ride, can do wonders in the long run, especially if you’re tight on money.
Long story short: your December early paycheck can get you through the month of January, but you’re going to have to make some adjustments in your spending habits. There are so many ways to save money and have a healthy bank account throughout the toughest financial month of the year, all it takes is some extra effort and compromise. Trust us, with these easy steps, it’s much easier than you think.