How To Enjoy December and Breeze Through January

Congratulations you made it to enjoyment season! 


Tis’ the season to get a break from work,to see family, bond with your children, sit back, eat, drink and be merry. Tis’ also the season when all the routines are forgotten - diet plans, the gym, and even your budget. But what happens when January creeps up? The bills stay the same - they didn’t let loose in December like you did. This is the kind of stress we do not need in the new year. Especially not when we’re firmly in the “New Year, New Me” phase. We already ate too many carbs and have summer bodies to work on.


But, you can have your cake and eat it too - after all, tis’ the season of carbs. We want to make the transition to the new year as smooth as possible. So here are 5 tips for you:


  1. Plan ahead: 

From mid- October to the first week of January, the year is jam-packed with events and occasions. From Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas to New Years. Think about your holiday agenda (family traditions, and personal holiday plans). 

Pro Tip: List the key people you’d like to meet, places you’d like to go, and activities you would like to do. Also, attach a date so you know when you will need money for these. 


  1. Manage your cash flows: Most employees receive their December salary a week or two early. This might make you feel like you have more cash. You don’t. 

To prevent this illusion:

  • Pay all your January bills in advance - pay your rent, utilities, phone bill, insurance well in advance that way, when the new year rolls in you are covered.

  • Request your employer to hold on to your salary until the usual day to avoid over spending.

Pro Tip: Set aside 30 mins today to add a money amount to the people and activities identified in #1. Now that you know how much you are likely to spend, you’re likely to be a bit more cautious - plus you won’t run dry because you planned for the costs! 

 

  1.  Travel to places that are within your city because lots of people travel out of the city, you’ve got a chance to discover your local hidden gems - without the crowds!
    Pro Tip: Make reservations with bundled offers on transport and entrance fees to parks to save as much as you can.The better the deal, the more the savings. #SaveYourMoney.


  1. Reduce pressure to buy expensive gifts - ask family or friends to have a cap on holiday gifts. For example: gift prices are capped at $10. This way you can get people you care about gifts and not break the bank or feel embarrassed when your cousin buys your grandma a Mercedes (he must not have heard about the $10 rule)

Pro Tip: when having these conversations, keep the focus on the intent of the gift (fun, bonding, etc.) and highlight that the price mustn't be tied to these intentions


  1. Buy in bulk: 

It’s is often much cheaper (per unit) to buy in bulk. If you are having lots of guests, make your food menu ahead of time and buy your ingredients in bulk. 

Pro Tip: for foodstuff, it’s often possible to buy straight from the wholesaler, and get an even lower price than bulk-buying at the supermarket


  1. Shop locally, where possible: If you‘re making a trip to visit family upcountry, try to shop at the local supermarkets - they tend to be slightly cheaper than in the main cities. You’re also contributing to your village’s economy - so it is a win-win. It also makes up for not buying your grandma a Mercedes - at least you brought her favorite treat!

Pro Tip: ask ahead before going wild on your shopping - there is a thing such as too many potatoes. Buy what’s actually needed


Lastly, have fun. Happy bonding. And remember to not break your bank for Instagram - they’re unlikely to send you a dividend cheque for the extra “Likes.


Happy holidays everyone!


Sarah.

P.S. We would love to hear from you. Comment below or write to us on what tips you actually gave a try this festive season.


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