Money The 3 Essentials for January

Do Not Get Into More Debt

January is a really bad month for many families, Janu-worries is what it should be called some say but, nonetheless the bills won’t go away and putting the demands away in a drawer does not mean they are paid.

Allowing debts to accumulate is very dangerous and can have a detrimental effect on other areas of your life and put undue stress on you and your family. If you are already in debt, prioritize and pay the important debts first. Which are probably school fees and rentals coming close behind?

To avoid late payment charges or being sanctioned in some other painful way pay the bills.If you cannot manage to pay a bill approach the person or company you owe money to. Ask for a payment plan and pay what you can afford and do not get into more debt.

Start a Standby Fund

The best way to avoid debt is to build up a cash reserve that you can dip into for emergencies and for celebrations. This year try working towards putting away money as many times as possible. The amount you put away each time will depend on your family situation and the regularity of your income.

You should aim to having a large enough standby fund that you can draw from not just in case of an emergency but also in case there is an opportunity to buy something quickly that you need and is going for a good price. Or for the moment that you need to repair something or that very unfortunate moment when you get fired or lose a much depended upon client of your business.

The amounts you put away is up to you but roughly dividing your monthly income into 50/ 40/ 10 would mean that your earnings would go to your regular or fixed payments, another bit or the 40 part to ‘other’ or irregular expenses and the remainder to put away. Regardless of whether it is more or less a tenth; to put away means it should go into your standby fund every month.

Sure, the amounts will vary from month to month what is important is to get into the habit of putting money away regularly.

Make a Budget
Saving money and being debt fee requires some discipline and one way to ensure this is to budget your money. List all the things that you are required to pay for no matter what and minimize on luxuries.

Part of the reward of being disciplined with money is that when you spend money on something special you really enjoy it because you know you can afford it. Working with a budget means you will be able to identify areas where you are overspending and where you need to cut back or cut off completely.

Make a budget and distribute the money among different categories to help you focus your spending and avoid getting into debt.


A Zambian site sharing quick read articles around work, money and adulting life with selective interviews and quotes.
The founder, editor and lead writer who left university with a good grasp of public administration, economics, money, banking and international relations is also qualified in journalism and creative writing. She has been published in Drum and The BBC Focus on Africa Magazine and has been featured in several local and international publications.
An avid bird watcher with an extraordinary fondness for chikanda ( a Zambian delicatessen that vegans and non-vegans world-wide are putting on their bucket list ) she often tweets in poetry and short prose @kwachalelo