Sunshine for days and group chats pinging in the good times – December is definitely in the air. And it feels like everybody is splurging after 2018’s crazy work hustle, because next year will look after itself, right?
Wrong. Behind every December lies a January, and we all know how tough those four weeks can be on our pockets.
So turn the silly season into a savvy one, and show January who’s boss with these simple money tips:
December salary stash
Chances are your salary will be paid into your bank account on the 20th, if not sooner. This means you would need to stretch your salary for 36 days until your next paycheck. Not fun. So work out what you need to keep January’s debit orders (and your life) running, and stash that amount away.
If you don’t have a separate savings account, then know your ‘do not cross this line’ amount. For example, if you need R10 000 to see you through the month, then rein back on your spending when your bank balance creeps close to the R10 000 mark.
Don’t go plastic
Jolling with friends? Leave your debit and credit cards at home, and take cash. If you’re not a fan of cash, work out a jol budget for the December holidays and stick to it. This will prevent you from making it rain at 2am. Your future, debt-less self will thank you.
Double the fun for half the price
Being smart with your money doesn’t mean staying at home until January knocks on your door. Two-for-one restaurant specials are everywhere, and most establishments offer some pretty rad lunchtime deals. Do some online research, get your fill and split the bill.
We’re still not done with plastic
Avoid buying Christmas gifts on credit. It’s easy to be swept away by the Christmas current and spend more than you had planned. Write down a list, work out a budget for each gift and hit the shops knowing that you’ve got this.
Pssst … here’s a tip for Christmas 2019: If you save just R50 every month from January, by December you’ll have a nice little stash to help you buy next year’s gifts. And, bonus! It’ll have earned a bit of interest too! Free money, yay!
Check in with your spending
Keep a close eye on your bank account. 50 bucks here and R100 there can end up taking big bites out of January’s financial comfort zone.
And because we’re cool like that, we have a little January gift for you, so you can still buy nice things. Buy a little something on Unlocked.Me between 11 and 28 December, and get an epic R100 discount code for you to bust this #Januworry.