5 Tips to Survive the First Month of the Year if You’re Broke

5 Tips to Survive the First Month of the Year if You’re Broke

Written by Emily Tuohy

So this was Christmas, and what have you done – except spend lots of money on everyone? New Years has just passed, we’ve moved into 2017, but the dry bank account doesn’t feel like celebrating. The holidays give us that heroic feeling of being able to throw around money like there’s no tomorrow, because why not – it’s the holidays, right? But what most of us tend to forget, is that after the holidays, come about another thirty days in which we need to survive before the next payday. Here are five tips and tricks to save money during this worldwide known month of being broke after having overspent in December. 

1.    First of all, it’s about time you pipe down. The holidays are over. January is low-key, this is not the time to go out to dinner or to party. Those days have passed for now. Crawl back into your cave and sit tight for the next month or two. This also means avoiding any spending haven – no shopping malls, activity centers or clothing stores. The day you can walk through their doors will come again soon. 

2.    Stop sharing. We all know you may be the generous type. You offer to pay for your friend’s coffee or continuously lend that euro, but it needs to stop. Hold on to your pennies for dear life! Almost all of us are broke in this dark and cold first month of the year, so why help others, only to make your own situation worse? Just be honest with your friends, they’re most likely in the same situation or have been there before.

3.    Plan no-spend days in your phone for once or twice a week (however many you may think necessary) and most importantly, keep to them! Prepare for them in advance. Cook meals ahead and freeze in portions so you don’t have the excuse to go out and buy food. Or anything else for that matter. No spending means no spending! 

4.    Save change. When doing groceries or any other form of money-spending, you get what you once thought to be useless coins that just create more weight in your wallet. Now is the time to treasure them. No matter the number, you should save at least one coin every day, whether it’s five cents or a euro. This may seem like you’re robbing yourself, but you’ll be happy at the end of the month when you don’t even have two pennies to rub together. Break open your penny jar and you’ll be surprised at how much money you’ve saved up! You just might be able to eat something other than instant noodles during the last days of the month. 

5.    If you don’t already have one, open up a savings account. Why now, when you have no money? Because looking at a savings account with a 0,00 balance will depress you enough to put aside a small part of your salary every month. It’ll be a reminder, or a cheesy New Year’s Resolution, not to end up in the same situation you were at the beginning of 2017. And at the end of the year, you’ll actually have money to spend instead of breaking the bank.