Ever noticed how so many people complain of being broke in January? I always thought I was the only habitual victim of flat ‘brokeness’ during the first month of the year, January, but it turns out I was wrong; most of us, mid-career earners fall in this category.
Not that I am a sadist, but I felt a little bit of solace knowing that almost everyone is broke throughout this month and impatiently waiting for the end of month salary.
So while wondering why most people are broke during this time of the year, it crossed my mind that this month follows the festive season and spending month, December.
During the festive season, everyone spends like they don’t care. It’s a bit comprehensible since our cultural perception has bred us in such a way that we highly esteem festive seasons and believe that we should eat and dress our best around this time thus the hefty spending.
Tom Rudakubana, a resident of Kacyiru who works with a construction company says that the many weddings and parties in December are partly to blame.
“For some reason, many people choose to have their weddings and other parties during the festive season. We are always making contributions for weddings besides preparing for Christmas,” Rudakubana says.
He adds that since it is always a holiday for many people, they are away from work and so they are not getting any deals to make some extra money but entirely depending on their salaries.
However, Yvonne Kabatesi 34 years, a mother of four and resident of Kanombe said, lots of renovation and shopping goes on during December leaving people broke in January.
“Usually, we all want our houses to look dazzling for Christmas and our children to wear the best clothes and have everything they need. So we often want our houses painted or have new furniture and most definitely, have our children’s wardrobes revamped for the festive season,” Kabatesi said.
Festive season spending is inevitable. However, we have to be mindful of the next month and save some money aside to take us through January. These savings are what enable income earners to avoid starting the year in debt.
As much as it might seem unavoidable to over-spend during the festive season, we should cut down on unreasonable spending to avoid the January finance backlash.
People could probably plan for the festive season at the start of November so that that they do not have to entirely spend their December salary but instead, save some for January.