Taking January Serious

I am a month of the year. I have 31 days on the calendar, but when I start, I feel longer. What am I? Well, this is quite easy to solve. The answer is January (hehehe).
For most salary earners, business persons and students, the 31 days in January are an illusion.
The month always feels much longer than any other 31-day month, and this is for no other reason but because there is “no money”. Folks typically go broke in Jan- uary after spending a lot during the December festivities. From January 2nd or 3rd, when the whole groove is over, we start to count down to the next pay day. This feeling of being broke does not make a New Year start on a good note. We’ve got a few tips to make next January a pleasant month.
Draw a budget: The Christmas and New Year euphoria comes with a lot of
expenses on food, drinks, high transport fares, gifts, outings (to relatives, movies, games), etc. It is important to determine the minimum amount you need for your January transactions and set it aside. Decide on the maximum amount you can afford for your December expenses. Draw a budget based on this amount and be sure the items included are the most essential. If the total financial requirements of what you consider essential exceed your planned expenditure, remove the ones that do not take priority and cut the budget. Ensure the cost estimates in the budg- et are as realistic as possible and the total amount does not exceed what you ini- tially planned. If possible, you include an item that takes care of precautionary spending.
A Pleasant Year Beginning
Stick to your budget: It does not end at drawing a budget. A budget is only a plan. Now, it is more important to follow the
budget strictly. This is quite difficult in all fairness, and anyone is more likely to overspend than under spend. Meanwhile, over- spending will most likely mean drawing down on what you set aside to spend in January. You can review how much you have spent each day to ensure you are on track. In the event you are overspending, you may want to revise your budget. Just make sure you do not end up spending above what you plan.
Defer some purchases until later next year: Folks often get carried away with the Christmas euphoria and see it as a
season to acquire so many things. While some of the purchases may be truly needed, they may not take priority to purchase in December and could be deferred till later next year. Postponing some of these purchases could free up more money as a buffer in January. Remember not to get carried away with the discounts in town.
Limit outings: One of the ways to avoid “eating into” the money you need to live well in January is not to give in to tempta- tion. Some occasions such as visiting many relatives and going on several outings may need to be minimized.

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