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The morning after – ‘Janu-worry’

Let me start off this year by saying compliments of the new season or maybe I should say complications of the new season, as at this point at the beginning of the year, the post holiday syndrome starts setting in – ‘January disease’.
If you are broke after the recently-ended festive season, let’s not mince words, you’ll probably be broke after retirement.
This statement is partly true if one did not take or make precautions to cushion themselves from what has come to be coined the dreaded ‘January disease’ or simply ‘Janu-worry’, as it comes with a basket of headaches.

Like a hard pill to swallow, the after-effects of the just-ended holiday are hard to digest and one wonders if there is no actual pill as a remedy, something comparable or similar to the Morning After pill.
It would be nice to have a medicine that enables one to bypass responsibilities like bills, school fees and the dreaded credit card, which seemingly by itself accumulates so much debt during the festive season and must now be paid off during the rest of the year at very high interest rates.
To be frank, unfortunately there is no such pill that can cure the accumulation of expensive debt during the festive season, which finance experts call the ‘Holiday Debt Hangover’.
The hangover or disease which is self-inflicted, is always mainly due to overspending and poor budget planning and most people I know fall victim to it.
The disease is characterised by lack of food in the fridge, constant complaints that they are broke and most of all, the reselling of their technological gizmo’s and gadgets that they now sell at half the original price, so that they can just make it to the end of the month.
Some go as far as selling their vehicles.
It is also characterised by the usual statements like, ‘I can not pick you up in Olympia, no fuel or money to put in the car, remember its January’ or ‘I am coming over to eat by your place’, something that one rarely does when they are in the comfort zone they enjoy in the other months that follow.
Right now, many vehicles or gadgets are on the market, offered for sale at ridiculous prices but actually sold at alarmingly low prices.
I basically think people have gotten so comfortable to this routine that they have decided to taint January as a bad month because of their poorly budgeted spending habits.
Some of the people do not even have real life-changing responsibilities like school fees or large families to take care of, but since it is January, it has become the norm to complain and join the bandwagon and use it as an excuse as well.
With this attitude, January is depicted as the bad month, while in actual fact people must be appreciative that a new year has come and they can actually turn over a new leaf.
Like the saying goes, the early bird catches the fattest worm. Why can’t people embrace the month of January and start ahead of the rest of the pack and there will be no need to worry. In any situation prevention is better than cure, and I think it’s always wise to watch your spending to avoid pitfalls like the ‘Janu-worry’ disease.
Research from Investopedia suggests that to prevent a hard first month of the year one must set limits for total holiday spending and most importantly, a budget based on your available finances, not on your dreams or desires.
In my opinion, come January month end, one has to realise it was just a battle and not a whole war.
Come February, the cycle starts anew with many gimmicks tailor-made for hopeless romantics that celebrate Valentines Day, but again like I said, proper planning can help you getting stuck in a rut, again! See you soon Cupid!

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