The month of December can be full of real fun! It’s the month when all the excitement that characterises the Christmas celebration is felt.
It’s a month of joy, giving, sharing, eating, drinking, spending on clothes and shoes, etc., and most importantly, the month when all the ‘bamba-ing’ and the ‘chilling with the big boys and girls,’ goes on.
But in January, those who went ‘chilling’ unbudgeted are faced with the reality of living on virtually nothing, ‘their eyes become clear.’ January is the month when people’s bank accounts look very dry. That’s because most people enter January very ‘broke’ owing to the fact that they may have spent their January salary, which is often paid by employers in December ahead of the Christmas festivities.
Being ‘broke’ in January can really be devasting. You literally have to live about 31days on an empty pocket, spend time counting the days (which fail to go by fast enough), hoping, and praying that the month ends soon.
It’s like in January, the days get prolonged. For those who fail to plan for the first month of the year, they have no choice but to either live on very little or rely on the benevolence of family and friends or borrow in order to survive.
On Tuesday’s edition of the Super Morning Show, callers got an opportunity to share how they are surviving January, 2022.
Kwame, who called from Odumase Krobo said things have been very tough for him and his family. He explained that the economic hardship is due to the fact that he has not been paid for the month of December because of validation issues at his workplace.
“Validation for December did not take place, so December was zero,” he said. “You can just imagine how we spent our Christmas and New year,” he stated.
Kwame noted that due to the same validation challenges, he doubts if the salary for January will be paid. “We only trust in God to take the family through to February,” he said.
Francis, another caller, had a different perspective of how January would look like for him. He is optimistic that he will sail through the month safely, devoid of any financial challenges since his “account balance still looks good.”
Ken from Kumasi also shared similar sentiments as Kwame. According to him, he is a NABCO trainee who has not been paid in a while. “Things are very horrible. It’s terrible,” he said. He stated that he would have to resort to drinking water and sleeping during this month.
Adobea from Accra also believes she will thrive quite well this month because she planned very well for the post-Christmas season. “It looks good. I tried as much as possible to plan my 2021 so I did my Christmas shopping in November,” she explained. “So as it stands now, it looks good,” she added.
Kobby from Tema said his bank account as of January 4, 2022, does not look like he won’t survive the month. “The account is not bad. It looks good. Thank God, I planned well so the account is okay,” he said.
Nana Kwesi from Madina said his account still looks good since he did not do anything extraordinary during the Christmas festivities.
“I made a budget but I didn’t spend. So for my side, I’m okay,” he said.
Nana Kweku from Teshie Nungua said due to the reopening dates of the schools his kids attend, he couldn’t celebrate the occasion. “I don’t know if my kids’ school decided to ‘mafia’ me, they reopened today, so I didn’t celebrate Christmas. I had to save in order to cater for their fees, books, and other stuff,” he explained.
‘Bro’ from Accra who let out a cackle after being asked by host Winston Amoah about how his account balance in January looked like, said the “Lord is my shepherd.” He noted that surviving Christmas was even a miracle.
The Resource Person on the show, Mr Paul Mante, who is the Managing Director for EDC Investments Limited, advised all to plan so they do not experience economic hardships during the post-Christmas season.
He noted that “all the people who say January is a good month have a common factor in there, and that is planning,” adding that although planning is not going to be easy, one must use the “why it is important to plan factor” as a big motivation.
“When it comes to financial planning, you will need self-discipline. It takes time, it’s not something you can do overnight,” he said.
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