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Top ways to stretch your salary until the end of January

Finance & Money

Posted on Tuesday, December 10, 2019

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Ever wondered how you can make your money last until January’s payday? It’s always a long stretch to the end of the month and even if you have stuck to your budget and spent wisely, the chances are your bank balance isn’t going to be looking too healthy come January. But there is no need to panic – you are not alone and if you plan in advance, you will have a better chance of making it through. Yes, some sacrifices will no doubt have to be made, but they will all be worth it when you are able to put petrol in your car in order to get to work on the 20th of January!


Here are a few ways to help you avoid debt and make it to payday, without getting into debt.


1. Create a budget


Yes, you’ve already done one for December, but now that most of the festivities are over, it's time to take a closer look at the damage. Check your bank account regularly and work out how much money you have left to get you through the weeks until payday. Divide it equally among the weeks and don’t spend a cent more than what is on that budget. Don’t forget to include things such as transport costs and electricity for the month of January.


2. Cook cheaply


One thing you won’t be able to avoid is grocery shopping. Focus on cooking cheap healthy meals that you can stretch to last a day or two, with leftovers you can pack for work. Minimise the chance of wasting food as much as possible by only buying what you need and always keeping whatever is left over for the next day or incorporating it into other meals. Also, look out for useful blogs that provide specific tips on making meals go as far as possible.


Everyone feels the pinch in January, so another idea is to pull together with friends or colleagues to make a lunch or supper club where you pool resources and each person cooks one meal a week, for example.


3. Give up your expensive habits


That morning coffee on the go or the favourite delicious sandwich from your local grocery store are all habits that you can say goodbye to for a couple of weeks in order to save money. Each individual expense may not add up too much on its own, but at this stage every little bit counts and when you add them together, they can come to quite a lot. So, whatever your little indulgences are, you can put them aside until after payday.


4. Buy in bulk when you have money


You may reluctantly purchase a bulk pack of toilet rolls or cereal boxes, but when money is tight, you will be grateful that these little necessities are taken care of. Consider making a list of all the things your family can’t do without and when you have the money, buy extra to see you through.



5. Pay January’s expenses in December



If you have paid your necessary expenses on your November salary and still have a bit of money left, it might be a good idea to put that extra money aside for January’s expenses, or pay for things up front where you can – for example, next year’s stationery requirements or school uniforms for your children.


The shock of things such as school fees is hard to absorb at the beginning of the year, so it’s wise to set money aside earlier. Also, consider paying the minimum on any debts upfront so you aren’t hit by late-payment penalties, then you can pay the rest of the necessary amount in the new year.





The information contained in this article is for information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


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