My mum was a salaried government employee, she’s retired now; and I very much remember that January used to be the longest month of the year for us. Christmas, always fantastic, because we spent the bulk of the salary for the Christmas and new year festivities. Everything you asked for after Christmas, always had to wait till very early in February. I never liked the post new year blues!
As I got into working life, this factor of the January ‘lack’ became an even bigger reality to me. Pay day was going to be the 25th and I had to survive after the Christmas expenses on the low salary characteristic of early working life. 25th looked like an eternity. I remember asking myself “why can’t employers move the pay-day forward in January just like they do at Christmas”. For me then, the employer was the problem! Now I have re-framed that question ” why can’t I manage my Christmas expenses properly so that I am not in a quagmire by the middle of January?”
More than anytime in the year, you need a budget for the Christmas festivities, whether this budget is formally written down or informally identified as the maximum spend you will do for the season. This budget should be within your income stream. If the budget is higher than your income (after your bills are paid), you have an extravagant budget for Christmas, you are living above your means and unfortunately, January is the time when you will most feel the pain.
It’s February now, let’s get busy increasing income, controlling expenses and hey you might be able to have a much better Christmas in 2014 with no financial hangovers next January.
Have a brilliant week!