Starting the year with healthy finances can be a challenge. Take into account these tips and successfully face the January slope.
Some people start the year setting new goals and projects, while others start with the desire to apply new habits that help improve their quality of life. Unfortunately, there are also those who start with imbalances in their accounts. For the latter, all is not lost, it is still possible to achieve healthy finances to overcome the slope in January and spend a more economically organized 2022.
Why do we have the January hard times?
For those who receive extra money during the month of December, it is quite tempting to use it to enjoy celebrations, make purchases, give gifts and perhaps go on vacation. Even that feeling of having money available can give a false sense of confidence that leads to acquiring debts.
Additionally, in some countries, there is an increase in inflation. Even the monetary illusion of the minimum wage increase appears, which in the end does not mean an improvement in purchasing power if there are increases in the price of goods and services in general.
Tips for overcoming the January cost
The good news is that this unwanted phenomenon that happens in January is no longer a problem when you have healthy finances. However, achieving that balance between what you earn, what you save and what you spend is no easy task. With these tips we bring you below, you will be much closer to achieving the desired balance.
1. Make your budget and record your expenses
Although this may seem obvious and it is easy to know how much money comes in during a given period, sometimes we have no idea how much goes out. In this sense, make a record of fixed expenses such as housing, transportation, food, services, and education. Also consider variable expenses, such as clothing, footwear and entertainment.
There are several free applications you can use to record your expenses. It is a good idea to keep it active for 3 months to determine a pattern. This way you will have a clearer picture to make decisions about reducing, eliminating, or spacing out.
2. Establish priorities and minimize expenses
January is usually a month of offers and promotions. Avoid the temptation to buy unnecessary things just because they are at a good price. It is true that these sales can be a good opportunity but concentrate on acquiring useful products according to what you need. Drawing up a list of expenses in order of importance will help you to know which ones are mandatory and which ones you can do without.
Be careful with what you waste on food, it is incredible how much money is lost in this aspect. Plan weekly menus so that you buy only what you need, store food correctly, check the fridge and pantry frequently so that you make the most of what you have.
Another way to minimize expenses is to reduce the frequency of outings, restaurant meals and trips to the movies. Although it is healthy to distract yourself, entertainment is precisely where you should start cutting back. Try to substitute those activities from time to time by creating special and different moments at home.
3. Generate extra income and diversify your investments.
Take advantage of January to sell objects, appliances, or furniture that you don’t need at home or in the office. If you look around, you will realize that you keep a lot of things you don’t use.
On the other hand, investigate what financial instruments exist in the market, study their risks, advantages, and disadvantages. Start by investing your money in those that involve low risk.
Make an inventory of your talents and skills, maybe you can offer products or services through an alternative occupation. Another option is to expand in some way the productive activity to which you regularly dedicate yourself.
4. Implement a savings plan and audit your debts.
The most important action to improve your finances is to save. It is advisable to allocate at least 10% of your income for this purpose. Likewise, being clear about your total debt limit will prevent you from making commitments that you cannot pay. Remember that this maximum between credit and credit card payments should not exceed 40% of your income.
Finally, whatever measures you take to improve your finances, do not forget to maintain discipline and consistency. And keep in mind that when placing your money in institutions, it is convenient to verify that they are authorized and regulated. Choose the one that offers you the best interest rate and the lowest commissions.
We hope these tips will be very useful to avoid the cost in January and build healthy finances that will serve you for the whole year. If you want to share your comments on this topic, do not hesitate to write to us on our social networks.