January, The Longest Month in a Year!

A friend once joked that January has 90 days, and it seems that way for most people. During the festive season, people have a tendency of throwing caution to the wind and living life like there is no tomorrow. They spend mostly on entertainment, food, luxuries, and they are suddenly hit with reality come January.

A few tips on how not to fall victim to the January dry spell.

Most companies give Christmas bonuses, vouchers and tips to their employees. these can be used for Christmas spending and the December salary left intact to cater for January. Considering the length of the holiday, it is wise for one to pay bills before breaking off. Rent, water, and electricity can be paid in advance covering till the month of January.

Do not spend recklessly, the festive season shall pass and you will have to continue living the same old life you were living before. It is very vital for one to plan carefully before breaking off for the long holidays. there is the issue of school fees. Most schools open for the year towards the end of January and as usual require that school fees are paid in full. Ideally, a parent with school going children should ensure that fees are fully paid before breaking off for the holidays.

People living in the rural areas seem to be more organized than their urban mates, they begin saving for December as early as January. Most have formed savings groups and are required to save a small amount weekly and at the end of the year the collective savings are used to buy a bull which is shared, bags of rice, cooking oil and the members then divide the cash amongst themselves. This way, they are able to avoid the stress that comes with Christmas and are assured of a hefty meal. Urban folks could copy this model of saving to ease the stress.

Our having culture as a country is generally lacking, most folks are living a life that is way above their income, from living in mortgaged houses, driving cars on loan, borrowing from shops, supermarkets, fuel stations, bars, by the time the salary arrives at the end of the month, it is all swallowed up paying debts and the vicious cycle continues. This behavior is taken a notch higher during the festive season. We all need to take a course in financial management, but above all self-discipline is required.