Is your wallet empty after Christmas and New Year? Then you are not alone! January is usually seen as the poorest month of the year, but there are a few things you can do to make it through until payday.
Every year it’s the same – many of us have burned extra money during Christmas and New Year and the holidays, which means that the economy suffers in January to say the least. There are several reasons why Blue Mondaywhich is said to be the most depressing day of the year, falls sometime in January every year: for us here in Sweden, clearly one of them is that the salary still feels far away for many of us, at the same time as the cash from the December salary begins to flow.
But there are some tricks to manage your finances gallantly even in January (and all other months!) – we list them below.
1. Don’t bury your head in the sand
It may sound obvious, but step one is actually to get a handle on the situation. You can’t take action, and know what parts of your finances you can improve, until you know what it actually looks like. Many banks categorize your transactions in the internet bank, so you can, for example, take a look there and see if there is any category of expenses that takes away extra money. It may feel hard before you do it – then you have all the more reason to do it!
2. Plan your purchases
It’s clear that the costs can add up if you go to the grocery store when you’re hungry, buy a few different things you want, and then realize when you get home that you can hardly cook whole dishes with them and will have to supplement with a lot Other. Therefore, make sure to make some kind of menu for the week, or at least make sure that you have basic items such as rice, pasta, tomatoes and eggs at home, so you can usually throw something together with them.
Now there are also extra people who buy food online – take the chance and place an order in peace and quiet from home on, for example, Mathem.se, get ready-made grocery bags with everything you need from Lina’s Matkasse or fill the pantry with bargains from Matsmart!
3. Choose cheaper options (or don’t shop at all)
No, you probably don’t need a new knitted sweater, a nice jacket for spring or new shoes right now if you can barely afford to buy food. However, it is easy to invent a need when you see something that appeals to you. Therefore, stop going to the online shops to “just check” if something nice has arrived – if you don’t know what you are “missing”, you won’t miss it either.
Instead, write down what you need, or would like, to buy on a list in your mobile phone. Then think about whether you really need it now or if you can wait until the next time you get money in the account. When the cash rolls in, you can go back and see if it’s really what you want or if it was just for the moment. And if it’s something that you actually need now – first look to see if you can find it used, and thus at a lower price, on, for example, Facebook Marketplace, Tradera, Blocket, Sellpy or some other online shopping site.
4. Sell things you don’t need…
According to Swedbank a survey by Sifo Kantar has shown that Swedes have an average of 38 unused things at home with a value of SEK 20,000. Maybe you have fewer, or even more, things at home that you don’t use. Take a day during the weekend and take pictures of everything and post it on a buy and sell site. Depending on what you have, and how you word the ad and showcase the products in the images, there can be big steals to be made.
5. … Even your home electronics
Do you also have old phones and other electronics lying around the house because you don’t know what to do with them? Then it’s time to get rid of them! Double check that there is no material left on it that you want to keep, like pictures and so on. Once you’ve transferred these, reset it to factory settings – voila, you have an item you can get money or in some cases gift cards for! You can make a price estimate at, and sell your phone to, for example Swappie and The pant clock.
6. Contact those who want to be paid by you
Do you know that you won’t be able to pay some bills right now during January, or maybe not even after salary this month? Contact the companies that send the invoice – many of them actually unexpectedly often agree to postpone the due date by a month. Then you also avoid reminder fees, late payment interest and other boring costs.
7. Invest in free activities
Nowadays, most of us devote ourselves to fewer activities such as coffee on the town, sporting events and parties – sad for us but good for your wallet! See this month as a challenge to come up with fun activities at as little cost as possible.
For example, you can pack a backpack with the spirit kitchen (which was this year’s Christmas present in 2020) and head to the nearest outdoor area, forest or other scenic environment with a friend, family or yourself for a luxurious coffee with thermos coffee. Long walks are another hit in a snow-covered environment, regardless of the weather!
Are you more into hanging out indoors? Start with a Bullet Journal, add puzzles or why not do some lovely test or reflection to see what you want out of 2023 and life? Home spa or Netflix are two other sure cards – actually it doesn’t always have to be so extraordinary! Here you will find the most popular TV series in 2022!
8. Plan better for next year
That you should be broke in January is actually not a law of nature. There are probably many things you can do differently next year to avoid being in the same situation again. Is it usually really tight financially after the New Year? Then you can, for example, set aside a small amount every month in the coming year that you can withdraw in a year.
Do you spend a lot of money on Christmas presents that no one even appreciates? Bet on a select few that you can keep an eye out for during the fall and thus click home at a better price, perhaps on Black Friday 2023? Or maybe 2023 is the year when you completely stop giving Christmas presents to the adults in the family if it mostly leads to stress and money-grubbing?
Just because you’ve “always” done things a certain way doesn’t mean you have to act that way forever. See 2023 as the year you take control of your finances!
Read also: 13 simple tips on how to make your salary last longer.