January— aside from the complete loss of holiday cheer, brings all manner of unpleasantries when it comes to your finances. That being said, there are a few smart ways to make money last this January and throughout the rest of the year.
Create a Budget
Some people swear by it and some don’t. If a budget is seemingly intimidating, consider designing your own. No person spends money the same way you do so it’s understandable why a template won’t work.
Know where your money is going and be confident that is where you want it. A budget doesn’t mean limitations, deprivations and no money to spend on the fun stuff. It’s okay, a budget is a spending plan – it will allow you to live within your means.
If you’re travelling this year, saving money for that business idea or wanting to invest, your budget will assist in bringing your money goals to fruition.
December was a time to celebrate on elaborate dinners or guilt-free shopping sprees. We’re well within January now, opt for more simple outings where you get more bang for your buck.
A farmer’s market is a great win-win, it’s not only an enjoyable day out but you’re able to lift some weight off your food budget by purchasing fresh food and vegetables. If you have kids, a day at the park is well within budget. Pack a small picnic basket and spend the day with your feet up while your kids can have a great time.
Johannesburg is filled with fun activities under R200.
Save money around the house
Buying odds and ends around the house can add up very quickly. Here are a few tips to keep your spending to a minimum:
- Keep an active shopping list – the biggest money wasting happens at the grocery store. How often are you buying what you may need, and not things that you do need? Keep a shopping list handy in your kitchen or on your fridge and update it during the week with necessities. Planning your meals ahead of the week will help you stick to budget and kick money wasting out the door.
- Sell what you don’t need – The beginning of the year marks an ideal time to do a little spring cleaning. The cardinal rule goes as follows “If it no longer brings you joy, get rid of it” This rule works well in two ways, 1 your house becomes a home and 2, you can make extra money by selling things that might give another person joy.
- Make coffee at home – Many of you might disagree because nothing beats a great cappuccino in the morning. However, spending R25-R40 for coffee everyday adds up quickly. Treat yourself to a café-bought coffee once or twice a week and make it at home the rest of the time.
Finally, in order to keep your finances in check during this tough month and make your money work for you for the rest of the year. Make a weekly money date, during this time, review your budget, spending in that week, tracking progress against your financial goals and adjust accordingly.