If you have no plans for the holidays, don’t log on to Facebook or Instagram. It’s a trap! Social media is currently awash with pictures of people celebrating with their families and friends in all kinds of locations, which is bound to depress you a little bit, or a whole lot. Some of these individuals have planned and budgeted for the holidays but sadly, most have not. A lot of people live to impress others, leaving huge dents in their pockets. You may be in a better financial position in January as you will have spent less than they have, and you may be giving a few people tips on how to survive January come 2017.
January always feels like it has at least fifty or sixty days in it. It goes on and on. To save yourself from this horrendous feeling, here are tips on what to do to make sure you don’t sell one of your kidneys for survival.
1. Don’t Overspend
Discipline is mandatory for you to achieve this. If you don’t need it, you can live without it. Avoid spending money on items that you may already have or those that will add no value. Don’t indulge in activities that are way above your means. If you have friends who want you to hang out in places you can’t afford, you can politely decline. Blame it on work or something. At the end of the day when you go back home, you’ll be all alone while dealing with your financial crisis.
Every extra coin you spend without having budgeted for will come back to bite. Budgeting is absolutely necessary to ensure you don’t go beyond your means. Plan for the month and make sure to set aside an emergency fund just in case you are required to take care of something that is completely out of your control. Without a budget, giving in to impulse buying for example becomes easy as you lack prioritization in your spending.
3. Start a small business for the holidays
There are people who have no idea how to survive January come 2017 because they haven’t a clue what they would like to do to make extra income. A good number of people are held back by fear. They care too much about what others think. So what if you start a catering business to secure yourself financially? So what if you offer to run other people’s errands at a fee? At the end of the day, you’ve got to do what’s best for you. Others are too choosy and in the process lose a lot of opportunities that would have otherwise been beneficial. If you are one of those who have no clue what they’d like to do, here is an article with ideas. Festive Season Business Ideas in Kenya. There are also plenty of online jobs one can do from the comfort of their home if they have access to the internet.
4. Stay away from sales displays
50% off! 70% off! 80% off! Nearly all shops offer products on sale to attract more customers who believe they are saving money. This is very tempting but very expensive in the end because you spend so much with the notion that you’re “saving” money. It’s almost like a trick. You will need to be disciplined for this one.
5. Use cash instead of credit cards
I’ve always said that using credit cards or M-pesa is like buying your money. Here is a good example:- Let’s say you have 2,000 shillings which you decide to put in M-pesa; if you need to use some of it, you will have to withdraw, incurring withdrawal charges in the process. When you want to buy goods or services via credit card or M-pesa, some amount will be deducted. What these services provide in abundance is convenience. People don’t realize they are losing money this way because the amounts seem so meager. Use cash during the festive season to avoid spending more in that manner.
6. Cut on borrowing
Everything seems like an emergency when you’re broke. You’re hungriest when you’re broke and least interested in food when you have money. I have never understood the psychology behind this! Some people are serial borrowers with a terrible “I will not refund” policy. They find themselves so deep in debt they have to change their phone number and wear sunglasses in the night to dim recognition. Don’t be one of these people. Avoid borrowing too much when you have no money because this equals to spending what you don’t have as you’re obviously expected to settle your debts at some point.