Plan and avoid the Jan-U-Worry financial stress

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By TKay Nthebe

It is an exciting week as many people receive their December salaries – including the 13th cheque and bonus payments, especially after a tough year. As you prepare to relax and spend money buying things that you love or spoiling your loved ones, let’s also remember to plan for the future. As an advocate for people finding a balance – living for today and enjoying the rewards of their labour, it would be irresponsible not to encourage readers of Leruo to spend wisely and plan for tomorrow i.e. January 2022. This is especially important because the income they are receiving in December 2021 should carrying them through to January 2022.

In this article, I want to share a few tips on how to avoid the the Jan-U-Worry financial stress.

  1. Plan for January 2022 expenses

Employers are paying salaries a week in advance so people can do their Christmas shopping well in time. Something important for readers of Leruo to remember is that this income is not only for the festive season. I encourage you to PLAN! As you start your Christmas shopping, remember to also plan for expenses payable early in January 2022 and avoid the risk of overspending or falling into unnecessary debt. Examples of such expenses are groceries, school fees, uniform, school bus for the children, transportation/fuel or utilities i.e., water and electricity. Do not start 2022 BROKE!

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  • Provide for January 2022 debit orders

The second thing to remember this festive season is to provide for your monthly debit orders such as insurance premiums, DSTV, savings and investments etc. The temptation to spend and buy things like tickets for events or eating out with family and friends will be heightened. As you go about your festive celebrations, put aside money to cater for your debit orders and do not ruin your account conduct with unpaid debit orders or have policies lapse because you failed to pay.

  • Pay your December loan instalments

A common trend, especially during the festive season is for people to “forget” that they have financial obligations such as loan instalments – credit cards, mortgage bond or personal and car loans. Just because you are receiving your salary a week in advance or because “Ke December boss or Beke le Beke” does not mean that you have a payment holiday – you have a responsibility to honour your obligations. Make sure to provide for your monthly loan instalments and avoid defaulting on your financial obligations. This could potentially lead to a bad credit record with your FSP or financial distress later where assets can be repossessed.

  • Enjoy the festive season and have FUN, responsibly

Let’s face it, the festive season is the time for us to unwind, relax and celebrate, so let’s do just that! I encourage you to have fun and celebrate the financial milestones you’ve worked hard to achieve this year for example learning how to budget and sticking to it, saving for rainy days, managing debt and planning for the future. Equally, forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve made and always been kind to yourself and others. Lastly, as we celebrate, let’s do so responsibly – be safe on the roads, mask up and observe all COVID-19 protocols. Let’s also make our money work for us by making sound financial decisions, so we can avoid the Jan-U-Worry financial distress.  Happy holidays Basotho!