We’re in the middle of January, and many people are feeling the effects of December. Many South Africans had their finances stretched thin during the holidays and now they’re struggling to make ends meet. While we cannot make money appear magically out of thin air, we can make the journey to the end of the month better through these budgeting tips…
At the end of this article, you will find two free downloads. The first is a list of affirmations to stick next to the mirror and say every morning or evening. The second download is a gratitude sheet to fill in every day. Also, if you would like to stand a chance to win R500, click here to enter our January survey now.
Take stock of what you do have
When panic and anxiety set in, we do not act with rationality. We tend to work from a place of lack and more often make situations worse than they are. Taking stock of your food, money and resources that are left will help you to find better ways of surviving. When you can see what you have to work with, you can plan. Some resources can be:
- Carpooling to save on petrol
- Stretching out food (freezing leftovers for another meal)
- Eating by your parents or friends
Plan out the days that are left over
Once you have taken stock of every resource at your disposal, sit down and plan every day until payday. From travelling to food, make sure you have planned each day. Do not borrow money or make a loan. lt will only create extreme financial worry in the coming months.
Budget for next month
Once you have sorted out the days of this month, sort out the budget for February. From the space of hardship, we tend to be more careful with the monthly budget. We make more realistic and lasting plans so we do not have to experience these hardships again
Budget to the last day of February and when your payday arrives, make sure to stick to that budget. This will also allow you to take care of any unexpected expenses and help you manage your monthly expenses. Budgeting spreadsheets are a good way to keep track of your monthly income and to help adjust your budget.
Keep a gratitude journal
It is very easy to get swallowed up by the end-of-the-month dread. It can hold a person so tight that you are almost paralysed by it and cannot function at work or at home. One method which works in eliminating the dread is to keep a gratitude journal. By changing what we focus on we naturally improve our lives. A gratitude journal can be anything from a small book to printing out the download at the bottom of this article. Make sure to spend at least 15 minutes thinking about everything that you are grateful for at this moment.
Get rest and rejuvenate
You may be thinking, “how could one possibly rest and rejuvenate when food is scarce, and the end of the month is so far away?” This is in fact the perfect time to do this.
When money is scarce, time is usually abundant. Use this time, after filling out your gratitude journal and planning every day until the end of the month to rest. The hours after work should be spent with family or doing those small things you never get time to do.