3 Easy Ways to Avoid the Janu-Worry Blues

3 Easy Ways to Avoid the Janu-Worry Blues

It's been quite an eventful year, to say the least. 2020 brought with it a pandemic that shook the very ground we're on. We have had to plan, adjust, and re-adjust our budgets. This year has taught us the importance of financial preparedness, which involves planning how to avoid the Janu-worry blues.

Part of financial preparedness is planning for seasons of drought where one expects money to be tight. One of these seasons is Janu-worry (January).

What Is "Janu-Worry?"

Janu-worry is another word for January. It's a combination of and play on the words "January" and "worry." January feels like the longest month because payday in January is so far from payday in December of the previous year.


Well, in December, South African workers are usually paid earlier (than the usual date) in the month. This December salary can include a bonus or a 13th cheque.

This, together with the festive season, has consumers spending a lot more because they have more money at their disposal. Consumers tend to spend on gift buying, Christmas decorations, festive plans, settling debts and sending money to loved ones.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has people spending less this festive season, all the festive spending can put pressure on consumers' finances. Due to all the festivities and the pressure on consumers' finances, some forget to budget for January's expenses/commitments and find themselves in financial trouble.

How to Avoid Janu-Worry

There are a few ways to prevent Janu-worry, and they all boil down to financial preparedness. 
Financial preparedness is defined as being prepared for events that can impact your finances. This includes education, emergencies, marriage, birth, purchase of a new vehicle, ill health, etc.

The following are tips to avoid falling into Janu-worry:

1. Making and sticking to a budget for and before Janu-worry
2. Cutting out unnecessary expenses before Janu-worry
3. Set money aside for Janu-worry expenses

Making and Sticking to a Budget for and Before Janu-Worry

A budget is a plan of your income and expenses for a specified period of time. Budgets act as a road map – that you design – to help you stay on course and achieve your goals. 

Cutting Out Unnecessary Expenses Before Janu-Worry

This sounds so cliché because it is mentioned all the time! It can be annoying to hear — I understand. But it is repeated so often because it is true (and because it is not observed).

Those "small" expenses here and there add up, and before you know it, you're out of money for the rest of the month. 

Source: @saskeeyaahh on Twitter

Tracking your spending – no matter how "small" – can reveal a lot about your spending habits. When you track your spending, you can measure it, and this, in turn, helps to highlight what you need to cut back on.

Set Money Aside for Janu-Worry Expenses

In order to do this, you need to have an idea of what you usually spend in January. This includes expenses such as rent, water and electricity, car payments, textbooks, groceries, fuel, cell phone bills, etc. Try to include some funds on top of that to add some wiggle room.

Setting money aside for January expenses helps you breathe easier. You'll be less stressed and may not even have to rely on asking for money from relatives and friends or using your credit card for those January expenses.

Let's Wrap It Up

Janu-worry doesn't have to be something you need to deal with come January. Through careful planning, spending, and self-restraint, you can minimise or eliminate the Janu-worry blues. While you're at it, here are ways to practice financial self-care, so you don't struggle in Janu-worry.

Take care, and thank you for taking the time to read this blog post! 

Warm regards,



  1. Great read and great advise it is indeed the smallest expenses that add up and before you know it you are outside if your budget😒🤑😔

    1. Thank you for your comment, Bunjiwe. I definitely agree. Those R50s here and there add up!

  2. Buying January essentials like stationery ease the load for Jan worries! Thank you for agreat read👏🏼

    1. Hi, Unknown. Thank you & you're welcome! I've heard people say they buy stationery (even uniform) to ease the load for Janu worries.

  3. You have done a great job on this article. It’s very readable and highly intelligent. You have even managed to make it understandable and easy to read. You have some real writing talent. Thank you. rock and roll


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