January Survival Kit
The festive season is over and it is time to face reality and head back to work. I literally do not know anyone who sincerely gets excited about this month and if they do exist I am convinced that it’s all just an act. For those of us who are ‘normal’ and dreading the harsh month, we are coming up with to-do lists to jumpstart ourselves, convince ourselves this is the time when you have to go to gym, save up some money and eat healthy. The funniest thing is most of these plans are ‘budget friendly’ because truth is we overspent during the festive season, we have been doing that for years and now we are walking around with our heads down because we never learn! This is why a January survival kit is essential! The first step to dealing with a problem is accepting that there is a problem. Since we have already established that the month of January is the problem, I have come up with an emergency survival kit to get us through these dark times.
1. Don’t get into Debt
Cash loans (Machonisa) are gleaming with excitement during this month because they know some of us will be on their door steps making them money. They’re usually an option because all of our other friends are on the same boat as us but this is a bad move! The interest rates are ridiculous and you don’t want to spend the next 2 months paying off debt that you could have avoided. So by all means, don’t borrow any money!
2. Activate Saving Mode
I know this sounds wrong but if you have ever experienced the harshness of this month then you should understand exactly what I mean by this. Chances are ‘keep the change’ was one of your favorite lines during the festive season when you were eating out, fuelling up your car or heck, even when you were getting your car washed! I am not saying we shouldn’t tip anymore but that P20 goes a long way this month. In some areas that is 2 days lunch. So let’s stick to to the 10% tip for now. We will be back in Feb!
3. Pack Lunch
For those of us who spent Christmas in our home villages chances are your grandmother or uncle gave you some left-over meat (Serope!) when you were heading back to the city. If you are one of the lucky people who got this, packing is not going to be a struggle for you so do it! Now for those of us who aren’t as fortunate make sure you stretch whatever is in your fridge as far as possible. Under no circumstances should you buy takeout; that P50.00 is petrol for the next 3 days.
4. Slow Down on the Road
Fuel is expensive and we do not have the luxury of driving around with full tanks this month. This is why it’s important to slow down on the road to stretch your fuel a little longer than usual. I will not attempt to address air-conditioning because it is not even an option. Should you be forced to switch it on, 60 seconds is sufficient.
5. Car Pool
You’ll be surprised how many people are in the ‘financial ICU’ and honestly can’t afford to be driving to work. This is the perfect time to car-pool with colleagues in order to share the burden of fuelling in January. If there are enough of you, you could keep the luxury of having the air-conditioner on. Otherwise public transport is your best friend, it’s cheaper and reliable so you have nothing to lose.
The evil that is January will not keep us down and I hope my survival kit helps you survive this month. Do share your January survival kits with us! Save a Jan-U-Worry Life!