Happy New Year!…or is it? The beginning of a New Year is not always a happy time for many people because then most have to come back to reality after the holidays and realize they now have to face a 40-day long month of January, and they are already broke from all the festivities, are missing their families or have gotten the January blues. And yes, I said 40 days because January seems longer than all the other months of the year. Some people even refer to January as the Monday of months because it is depressing and seems endless.
It is no secret why many people feel like this month is too long and get the January blues. The holidays are just recently over, and with them, happiness, laziness, and a lot of spending on gifts, travel, food, or events, among many other things, happened. Since you probably spent the holidays with your family and friends you hadn’t seen in a while, you might be missing them already, and this adds to the reasons why you need tips on how to survive January.
Finance-wise, it might seem like it is already too late to learn how to survive January because you are already broke, but that is not the case. Even with the little amount of money you have left over from the holiday season, you can make some adjustments to help you make it through January while awaiting your next paycheck. Read on to learn how to survive January if you are broke or sad that the holidays are over.
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How to Survive January When Broke and Sad
- Create a realistic budget
Budgeting is one of the most crucial things to do if you want to learn how to survive January when broke. Since you don’t have any extra money to waste, make sure to put what little you have into good use. Create a realistic budget and prioritize the things you can’t live without. For example, remember to allocate enough money to utilities and basic needs such as food, bills, transport, and paying off debts. If some money remains, you can deposit it into your savings account or invest in something of value. Stick to your budget, and if it works, consider using that same one for the rest of the year.
- Try to save money
It is not enough to only create a realistic budget. Since you are learning how to survive January when broke, you have to also look for ways to save more money by becoming smarter and cutting unnecessary expenses. Yes, you allocated a particular amount of money to food, but perhaps you can reduce that expense by cooking your own food at home. Or, perhaps, you can walk to work instead of driving. You definitely don’t have to smoke or drink alcohol and could survive on a dry January. You most likely could also find ways to minimize your energy consumption. If you look for ways to cut expenses and save money, most times, you will find them, and, perhaps, that is what you need to do if you want to make it through January. Learning how to survive January when broke will be a great lesson for you. It could even change your spending habits completely because you will learn to value your money and how to live frugally.
- Resell what you no longer use
Why starve when there are things in your home that you haven’t used in a while which you probably don’t think you will ever use again? Reselling things you don’t use anymore is one of the best ways to survive January when you are broke. Since one of the things you should do to start the New Year right is to declutter and become more organized, it will be easy to sort what things matter to you and which ones you can donate or resell to earn some money. Some things you can set aside to resell to help you survive January include clothes, shoes, bags, jewelry, and anything else of value in your house that you no longer use. You could also return or resell unwanted Christmas gifts.
- Start a side hustle
As you wait for the end of the month to receive your January salary, why not find more ways to increase your income? Starting a side hustle is one of the best things to do if you want to learn how to survive January when broke. Ask yourself, what are you good at? What else can you do to make money without jeopardizing your main job? Some side hustles you can try that will help you earn some extra money quickly and make it through January include; online freelancing work, making deliveries of food and other stuff, renting your car, creating a YouTube channel, driving for Uber or Lyft on weekends and after your work hours, or selling a product or service, among many others.
- Make a to-do list
One of the major mistakes people make when going for the holidays is leaving unfinished tasks and projects at work. They forget that all these incomplete tasks will still be waiting for them when the holiday season is over and then feel overwhelmed when they resume work in January to find that their workload piled up while they were on a break. Since you already made this mistake, there is no use regretting what you failed to do in the past. Instead, avoid getting overwhelmed by the heavy workload and get your sh*t together by making a to-do list and scheduling all the activities you need to do this month. Your to-do list will help you have more control over your life and reduce the burden on your brain as you won’t have to stress yourself trying to remember everything you need to do at particular times. Get yourself a weekly planner to help you become more organized and not feel like January has 90 days.
READ ALSO: 7 Things to Do at the Beginning of the Month
- Stay in touch with your loved ones
Money is not the only thing that causes the January blues. Missing your family and the holiday vibes does as well. Fortunately, for most people, the majority of their family and friends are just one call or a short drive away. So, if you miss your loved ones because you got used to spending time with them during the holidays, calling or visiting them can help you learn how to survive January and beat the blues. You will stay updated about what is going on in their lives, maintain your bond with them, and keep more good friends in your life, which will enhance your overall wellbeing. The holidays are not the only time for family time.
- Go outdoors more often
Work, family, and money are not the only things that could make you feel depressed in January. Some people also develop the January blues, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), when the holiday season is over and find it hard to make it through the new month. If you feel depressed about the end of the holidays and want to know how to survive January and beat the blues, you can go outdoors more often, especially on brighter days, to feel the sun on your face and the grass under your feet. Just try to be present in the here and now and be in the moment. Other tips to help you stop feeling depressed in January and overcome SAD include staying active, setting realistic New Year’s resolutions, staying warm, eating healthy foods, starting a new hobby, visiting your family and friends if you can, or seeking professional help if nothing else helps to boost your mood.
- Learn from this experience
Do you want to be struggling to make ends meet and trying to survive January next year as well? You, most likely, don’t want to be in this situation ever again. Since you already know the holidays happen annually, why not plan for them in advance? Even as early as January? If you are already broke because you overspent your money on things in December, try to make sure this doesn’t happen to you again.
However, don’t beat yourself up for it or stress over it too much because it already happened, and doing that could also affect your outlook towards this year while it is still so young. If you want to know how to survive January and the rest of the year, forgive yourself and learn from this experience. Prepare in advance this time by either starting to save for the holiday season early or creating a budget for your spending in this year’s holidays and sticking to it.
January doesn’t have to be a depressing month, and you also don’t have to be broke. From the above tips, you now know how to survive January when broke and sad. Make this month different this year by approaching it positively and being well-prepared for any challenges you might experience. The good thing about learning how to survive January is that, since it is considered one of the most difficult months of the year, if you can get through it, you can probably face most of the other challenges life throws your way over the following months and overcome them.
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