January is no joke, you guys. I mean, for starters there are 136 days until pay day and, secondly, why didn’t anyone wag their stern finger at me while I was spending all my moola on junk food and frivolities, in December?! Not funny. Not funny at all.
Now, you all know that I have a spreadsheet brain. I mean, I talk about it alot. So obvz you should know that my brain has already concocted a clever way to not sit with this brokeage and regret the next time January comes around.
Livin’ la vida loco doesn’t have to have a bad aftertaste, you guys. Surely there are ways to be better prepared for the big days (aka festive season)?
That was a rhetorical question, Susan, the answer is yes. Yes there are ways to prep for December… in January. Here are five clever ways to make your randzelas work for you in the new year:
5 ways to prep for December in January
Vouchers and hampers
While others are clutching to their coins at the end of January, hoping to hold on to their moola a tad bit longer before settling the debt made in December, I am gleefully giving my bucks away! Why? Well, because I start paying off on my December hampers at the end of January. I participate in an amazing stokvel-type hamper where I pay a fixed amount every month for 11 months and then collect my grocery/meat/luxury hampers at the beginning of December. These hampers are always so generous in portion size which means I will end up having enough to cover January and February too! And the peeps who run the one that I participate in makes sure to check sell by dates and only provides quality items. AND they deliver the hampers to my front door! It’s such a win, honestly. (If you’re in PE, you can connect with Christmas Made Easy here).
No stokvel hamper club in your area? It’s all good. You can purchase Savings Stamps from Shoprite, Checkers or Usave in units of R10 and R20. Save up all your stamps and use it for those often pricey grocery (or back to school) purchases in December and January.
Sales and more sales!
Hot tip: most retailers run amazing clearance sales immediately after Christmas, to get rid of excess Christmas stock. I always factor this into my budget because hello cheap gift sets, future birthday prezzies and inexpensive Christmas decor! You could totally buy next year’s Christmas gift, like, this year.
I have a special storage space, at home, for my gifts surplus. I regularly replenish this with items that I pick up when I have extra moola, or if I can get it at a really good price. This definitely helps me to not spend too much at the end of the year, because I have a stockpile of gifts to choose from, when wrapping those gazillion secret santa prezzies.
I also stock up on my kids summer clothing (swim suits etc) during Winter… because, you guessed it, it’s usually so well priced then.
Gift Cards are a friend of mine
Another way to prepare is to start purchasing gift cards from all your favorite stores. You can then load money on to the cards, through out the year, helping you to be spend ready, when the big days come. Oh and super top tip: some online sites allow you to exchange rewards for gift cards. I use my Baby City card to purchase nappies and milk for baby and I store up my Clicks club points to purchase gifts, toiletries and, hey, even wrapping paper.
Back to school throughout the year
I try to do my school uniform purchases through out the year. I mean, why wait until January to buy the bulk of your kid’s school items? Hold on to the receipt if you’re worried that they will outgrow the items. Or, simply get a store card from your favorite school retailer, and continue to load money onto it, in preparation for those January blues.
Back to school stationary can also be purchased throughout the year. A friend of mine has a stationary box where all extras are stored in and she usually tries to use last year’s stationary list, for the relevant grades, to help prepare for next years stationary requirements. I mean, how cheeky, but absolutely brilliant, right?!
Don’t be a foolio
When it comes to festive spending, I can be a bit of a foolio. You know, unnecessary and silly. So, when my Christmas bonuses reach my bank account, I immediately transfer a bulk of it to a seperate savings account (you can even lock these and only give yourself access to it after 30 days, yo!) to deter myself from spending unnecessarily. I mean, when the money is easy to access, chances are I will, well, easily access it.
If you don’t trust yourself with your own savings account (I mean, it’s happened to the best of us, Margeret, don’t be a hater), then draw the money and ask someone that you trust to save it for you. This extra money will be very welcomed when the dreaded Januworry comes around.
Those are my very clever tips on how to get more bang for your buck and not be stuck in the muck (haha, see what I did there) next year January. Do you have any frugal/money saving tips to share? Please drop us a comment down below.