What to do about Janu-worry 📆

The end of 2021 is finally in sight and we’re sure you’re looking forward to some fun this festive season. The problem is that many South Africans find themselves overspending during the December break. YOLO, right?

The consequence is Janu-worry — a financial reality check that leaves us rummaging through our piggy banks in the hope of scrounging some forgotten funds. There’s a reason why we call January the longest month of the year!

But here’s some good news: The start of the year is a perfect time to take stock of your financial goals, and 22seven is here to help. Follow these four simple steps to get through Janu-worry and set yourself up for the rest of the year.

Tip #1: Plan your spending

The key to financial security is taking control of your finances. First things first: Plan your spending. If you’ve ever wondered where all your money has gone before you’ve reached the end of the month, you’re not alone! To avoid this anxiety, draw up a budget and try your best to stick to it.

Your budget should account for your planned income, all your fixed expenses and any additional costs you foresee for the month. You can also include an amount for unplanned spending, but be strict… Always aim to spend less than you earn.

Once you’ve worked out your budget and identified your financial goals, you need to keep an eye on them. After all, a plan is only as good as its execution. Use 22seven to manage your budget and track your spending — all in one place.

Tip #2: Don’t take on more debt

When you find yourself in a financial pinch, it’s tempting to take a short-term loan to get through the month, or to buy something you think you need. Don’t do it!

A short-term loan can be so tempting because it’s instant money, but remember that you will be the one responsible for paying it off for the rest of the year and maybe even into 2023 and beyond. If you miss a repayment, your credit score will be negatively affected, which means it will be harder for you to access other financial products in the future.

If you have existing debt, use your budget to set aside money each month and settle the debt as quickly as possible.

Tip #3: Edit your lifestyle

We all like to make New Year’s resolutions — things we want to achieve, experiences we want to have and skills we want to develop. A new year offers the chance of a fresh start, which also makes it a perfect time to take a good look at your lifestyle.

Those unused clothes and gadgets that are taking up valuable space? Sell them! That subscription you haven’t used in months? Cancel it! Clear the clutter from your life — literally and figuratively — and earn some moola at the same time.

#4: Save as much as you can

Cut out unnecessary expenses and put money away every month. Even a small amount, saved regularly, has the potential to grow into a sizeable sum in the long term. Put your savings into an interest-bearing account or contribute to an investment product that makes the most of that wonderful phenomenon called compound interest.

You can do it! Avoid financial stress after the holidays by planning ahead. Small changes can have a big impact on your wallet. Use 22seven to take control of your money and say goodbye to Janu-worry for good.

Thoughts, observations and insights. About money, life and 22seven. Visit 22seven.com