2020 was one of the toughest years and there is no denying we all felt like we need a little spoil for coming out alive. Maybe you really needed a new wardrobe, cell phone or if you are lucky enough to have gotten your hands on it, a PS5. It is easy to beat yourself up for letting money slip through your fingers this December.
Whatever it is you spent your hard-earned cash on, pay the bill so to speak and work on moving forward. Use your financial hangover as a lesson to be more responsible in 2021. Here are six steps to help you recover from a financial hangover going into the New Year.
1. Shave back your expenses: January provides the perfect opportunity to display your thrifty nature. Whether it is pausing your gym membership until February and working out at home; cooking all your food at home and avoiding restaurants - now is the time to avoid unnecessary spending. Prepare meals from your pantry and freezer and only buy essentials like milk, eggs and produce. Shop around online to see if you can save money on everything from your wifi to your electricity and water.
2. Reassess your borrowing: Now is NOT the time to dip into overdrafts or rely on credit cards. If it is not a necessity, January is not the time to buy it on credit. Yes, there are some good post-holiday sales, but you are already in debt, you cannot afford to shop on credit, no matter how good they are.
3. Be a Hustler: Selling unneeded items in your house is one way to get some extra cash in this January - anything from unused gaming consoles, furniture, clothing, sports items, or even unwanted Christmas presents. Freelance work, weekend retail jobs, and babysitting are all great ideas that can help you to bring in some extra cash.
4. Pretend it’s level 5 again: Remember when you had to stay indoors for three weeks and avoid friends and family? Well, that might be a good idea for January. The costs of going out to see friends quickly adds up, with eating out and even a few drinks damaging your already battered wallet. Take a walk, read books, do some gardening and at the end of January, see how much you have saved (just like during lockdown!)
5. Learn how to budget: Resolve to get your spending back on track by taking a closer look at your budget. Use a monthly budget calculator to help track spending if you are not sure where your money is going. This information can help you come up with a new budget that you can stick to in 2021. Expensify.com, for example, allows you to track your monthly expenses - if you are a freelancer or self-employed this acts as a receipt management system as well.
6. Download the Franc app: Best cure for a financial hangover is saving; in fact let it become your religion in 2021. Download the Franc app and start setting your financial goals for the year with the help of our robo-advisor. Make a note of your long-term financial goals. It may be saving for a new home, second car, your retirement or your children’s education. Then, once January's pay check comes in start saving for the sake of your financial health and wellbeing.
Financial hangovers are not always easy to avoid, but you can definitely ease the
headache by temporarily cutting spending, seeing how to bring in some extra cash and putting some cash away in anticipation of curve-ball expenses.