January is one of the most stressful months of the year from a financial perspective.
There are roughly six weeks between an early December salary payment and January month end. Within that period, many people spend more on gifts, travel, entertainment and ride-hailing than at any other time of the year – and frequently pay with credit.
January brings not only the regular monthly bills, but, for parents of school- or university-going children, fees, uniforms and textbooks are added to the list. Premiums for insurance, health, security and other services frequently increase in the new year too.
Dealing with the aftermath of festive season spending, in addition to paying for current necessities, is tough for most of us, says Shafeeka Anthony, Marketing Manager of JustMoney.co.za, a site that helps educate South Africans to better manage their money. “January is a long stretch when you are trying to make ends meet,” she adds.