Managing your Financial Stress this ‘Njaanuary’

Welcome to the first month of the year 2021!

I know 2020 was a very tough year for many people because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is still on-going. Many of you lost your jobs or had to survive with half-pay. My heart goes out to all of you. And now that ‘Njaanuary’ is here and life must continue including taking care of bills.

What are the odds that for the past two weeks you have been waking up in the morning, opening an eye and thinking: Aaargh! It’s morning again, how I’m I going to get by today without money? That’s right the holiday season is over. The New Year has dawned. All that excitement of spending for the holidays burned a hole in your pocket and burned you out.

January is always a tough month to get by. Well, unless you are Aliko Dangote with some billion dollars tucked away somewhere. Most people struggle so much this month to try and make ends meet. Almost one in three people felt pressured to spend more than they could afford over the festive season. This leads to most people getting into debt or falling further on existing debt due to over-spending in December. The problem is worsened by the fact that many people were paid in early December while others lost their jobs in the course of last year. Many people will have a longer wait for payday this month.

All that financial pressure becomes a regular source of anxiety, which leads to high stress levels and eventually health complications. Financial stress can affect more than your wallet. It has a ripple effect on your health and interpersonal relationships. Prolonged stress can actually increase the chances of getting a heart attack, diabetes, hair loss and depression. No other situation has ever better illustrated the connection between the mind and the body.

So the New Year is here, you are broke, you have debts up to your teeth, it’s back to school, you are stressed out and on the verge of blowing up. Do not despair, because time and deliberate action can simultaneously improve your financial situation and release you from the tight grip of stress. You can consider the following 5 ways to help you manage your January financial stress.

Identify your stress points

Whether it’s the realization that you need to get more serious about saving for the future, getting a job/better job, or dealing with a troublesome debt, it is important to recognize your anxiety. You need to know what you are up against by writing down a budget and list of your biggest financial sources of stress. Keeping the list short can help you feel less overwhelmed.

Keep a positive mindset

Maintaining a positive mindset can help you feel motivated enough to fix your financial problems. Getting bogged out by your thoughts of never getting out of the rut your in doesn’t help at all. It is important to believe you can do it. You will be surprised to know that your stress levels decrease as your debt load gets smaller.

Utilize your income

Believing that you do not have enough money to pump towards your goals can prevent you from handling your financial problems. You should focus instead on what you have and spend it wisely. You could use your calculator to calculate just how much time and money it may take you to get to your goal.

Learn how to cook

Many people spend a staggering amount of money eating out. It is however much cheaper to buy and cook your own meals. When you’re going home from work, don’t go snacking at your favorite ‘muturasamosa’ place or buy takeaway food from a restaurant. Just go straight to your ‘mama mboga’ place and get some fresh and healthy wholesome foods to go cook.

Shop at Second hand shops (mitumba)

You are broke, you can’t afford to go to your favorite mall and pop some tags. Just go to a second-hand store to get your shopping. You can usually find good quality, slightly worn and sometimes even brand-new clothes. This can add up to significant savings.

Whatever your situation, I hope the above tips will help you cruise through January like a boss.



About the Author

Sharon Adisa
Sharon is a writer and editor who strives to continually further both the depth and breadth of her skills as a writer so as to contribute superior work and deliver client and customer satisfaction.

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