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January Blues: How To Make The Longest Month of The Year More Affordable

For a lot of people January – also known as Janu-worry – is a long, slow month, especially when you are trying to stretch the early December salary throughout the festive season and into the new year. Although early payment has its benefits during Christmas, it may leave you struggling to afford your expenses in the following month, considering that your next salary is at least four weeks away.

You may be looking at your current bank balances while feeling the blues of your spending habits and the pressure of taking care of your family over the past few weeks. But worry less, as we have some insights on how to make what feels like the longest month of the year, more affordable.

Budget

It would be helpful to start being honest with yourself about your current financial situation, by separating your expenses into two steps;

  1. Evaluate your budget. Get your bank statement to find out exactly how much money you have left over from your last pay to see if you can reduce your current debts.
  2. Make a list. Create two separate lists of your fixed expenses and your variable expenses.

Fixed expenses are:

  • Your rent or mortgage bond
  • Car instalment
  • Insurance

Variable expenses are:

  • Groceries
  • Petrol
  • Utilities

If you need more tips on budgeting, please visit our blog on How to Make a Budget which includes easy steps and tools on preparing a monthly budget suited to your expenses.

  1. Save where you can. From your fixed expenses, you should consider paying the minimum required amounts for each first and from your variable expenses, see where you can cut costs. You can decide to forgo restaurants and takeaways, and instead buy only sustainable everyday food items in your groceries.
  2. Cash in on available rewards and store specials. Getting back into your day-to-day routine while managing your affordability is not easy on your own but there are more resources available to you than you realise. You could organise a car-pool with work colleagues and only use your vehicle when necessary. Make use of store specials by cashing in on any ‘points’ or ‘rewards’ you have available.

Compare Prices

Since most shopping items can be found online, it would be a good idea to consider comparative shopping which will help you make informed decisions when purchasing items that are within your budget and affordable for you. With the back-to-school rush fast approaching, it would be helpful to buy only what you need, in terms of uniforms and stationery items for this month. Then add the rest during the course of the year.

Shop Online

Online shopping can be cost-effective as many online stores offer free delivery during this month of the year, which can help with saving time and money. If you are considering shopping online for items you need, from clothing to groceries and utilities, click here to find a list of stores that are available online. Comparing prices is easier online as all the information you need is readily available and just a click away – with the consistently increasing price of petrol, the convenience of shopping for essential items online, without having to leave your home, has never sounded more appealing.

If you have already evaluated your bank statement and debts, only to find that you still do not have enough money to stretch throughout the month, it would be helpful to consider entering into Debt Review to help reduce your monthly payments.

If you are struggling with debt and thinking about entering into debt review, Debt Movement is here to offer you non-judgemental debt advice and financial guidance. Request a free call back today with our understanding and caring team.