Let's be honest, it is not that we do not have a budget, the actual work is sticking to that budget. Enter the festive season, like a child in a candy store with no care about tomorrow. The temptation to be extravagant is in plain sight, but watch out.
6 ways to make December salary last until January
How do you make ANY month's salary last until the next paycheck? But first, let's prevent that January financial hangover.
This is not to say that you should stick glue to you hands and bind them until the festive season is over. It simply means that you are going to get creative, use all available resources and keep your long term goals in place.
Here's how to do it.
There are endless savings accounts options today including mobile money, money apps wallets, and bank accounts. Separate your money in different money accounts according to expenditure.
For needs (December and January) these include: rent, transport, food, phone bills, utility bills. Use expense calculations from previous months to determine how much you have to keep in a given account.
Wants are where the fun is, going out for food, trips, gifts among others. Put this money in the easy to access account.
Do not lose sight of your long term goals, call this budget "future you" this includes things like saving for a house, getting out of debt, an emergency fund among others.
The 50/30/20 rule
This budgeting rule states that allocate 50 percent of your income to needs, 30 percent to your wants and 20 percent to "future you". However, take into account taxes of the savings services you are using and find the best deals. This rule can also help you be more financially flexible during the season as long as long-term goals are not affected.
Check out socialising activities that fit into your budget. Suggest activities like board game marathons, watching christmas movies, visiting local festive displays or public events and also take advantage of meal deals.
Before you stretch your budget on gifting, try regifting presents you got the previous year that you have not used. Suggest a spending limit to your loved ones so you don't have to worry about getting an expensive gift while you can't afford to return the favour.
And when it comes to budget gifting, the possibilities are endless for creative presents. After all, budget doesn't mean cheap.
Some people get creative with DIY, playlists, among other surprises.
Get your points in
Check out loyalty schemes and cash back schemes. Many companies and organisations offer discounts, coupons and other schemes during this season. Find out what benefits you might be entitled to and what relief you can get in different organisations.
Open up to friends
Engage your friends in talks about budgets to overcome the stigma that surrounds money. Each person is working on a different budget or mindset about spending. Open the conversation about what money means to each of you, priorities and challenges.
Adjust your plans to suit your budget. If you cannot afford to be part of all planned activities, pick out the ones you can afford to attend.
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