Hey everybody! Welcome back from your holiday induced coma! Is anyone else totally over the holiday season and tired of the events that come with it, ’cause I sure am.
It all starts in good fun, a party here, a potluck there, a neighborhood get together, traveling to meet with family, exchanging gifts, etc., etc., etc. But, after a while, it’s just exhausting…and expensive. It seems like no matter how hard you try to reign in your Christmas budget, it can easily spiral out of control.
I don’t want to sound like Scrooge, but I for one am glad that I have eleven months before we have to start it all over again. Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays – especially since we have little kids – but I welcome January like a breath of fresh air.
I mean, January was practically built for frugal-minded people like us. Personally, I believe January is the most frugal month of the year, which totally makes it the BEST! Here’s why.
No More Gift Buying
Have I mentioned that I’m tired of buying gifts yet? Even though we usually have a pretty frugal Christmas, it’s always exciting to realize that we have an entire month free from gift buying, receiving, or giving. There are zero holidays in January that require the exchange of gifts. Zip. Zilch. Nada…Hallelujah!
Seriously, how refreshing is that?!? Unless you have a loved one with a January birthday, it’s a fairly boring month when it comes to holidays. After the craziness of the October, November, and December, boring is a welcome change, especially for our budget.
No More Potlucks/Parties/Gatherings
January is by far the best month for people who enjoy their solitude. Gone is the month of compulsory attendance at gatherings! Even though bringing a side dish to share doesn’t cost that much for a single party, when you add it all up over the course of the holidays, it costs a pretty penny to attend all of those get-togethers.
But in January, it’s perfectly acceptable to hide out in your home, away from the cold weather, like a hermit. Everyone is so freakin’ over the parties by January 1st that you don’t even have to show your face on social media for at least 3 weeks without people calling the authorities for a welfare check. All of this alone time means that you’re not spending money on get-togethers. Frugal January, FTW.
Fitness Goals Equal Smaller Grocery Bill
People with New Year’s health and fitness goals save the most money on their food bill in January. If you’re trying to eat healthy, you’re most likely cooking at home, avoiding restaurants, and eating healthy food from scratch. That makes the first month of the year the best month for frugal eating.
If you aren’t worried about fitness but your goal for the New Year is to spend less, you can even save money by eating the food you already have in your pantry.
Frugality Gets a Fresh Start
Always wanted to be more frugal? There’s no better time to start than January 1st! You have a whole, fresh new year to whip your finances into shape. Maybe this is the year that you’ll become the next crazy coupon lady (or coupon guy) and be able to help your family to never pay for toilet paper ever again! (Have I mentioned lately that I will never again have to buy floss or Ziploc bags???)
Being frugal isn’t just about coupons, though. You should aim always to spend less than you earn. Don’t buy new unless you have to, and make do with used whenever possible. Frugality is the art of not spending money on the things that don’t matter so that you can spend money on the things that do. You may not be able to afford everything in life, but with frugality and a budget, you can afford anything that you really think is important.
New Year’s Goals to Keep Your Finances on Track
How did you do on your financial goals last year? Did you make any new financial goals for the New Year? Maybe you want to pay down debt, improve your credit score, max out your retirement account, or diversify your assets; it doesn’t matter. Your New Year’s resolutions are still super fresh. Whatever you decide to focus on in 2016, January is the time that you’re most likely to stick to your new money goals to keep your financial plans on track.
In January, you still have the drive, motivation, and willpower to stay on top of your new financial goals. This means that your more likely to have extra income in January to put towards savings, retirement, college funds, or whatever it is that you’re geeked up to save for.
Treat the Whole Year Like January 1st
Can you imagine how different the world would be if everyone treated each day of the year like it was January 1st? It would be amazing. We would all be skinny, beautiful, rich people because we’d stick to our health and finance goals. It would be like the “Miss Universe Pageant” meets “The Real Money Lives of Financial Planners” – minus Steve Harvey, of course.
It can be difficult to stay motivated throughout the year, but as the months drag on, remember how you felt when you rang in the New Year. Enjoy the frugal month of January, and then try to enjoy the frugal months of February through December as well. It may not be as easy to stick to your goals throughout the year, but if you’re able to hold onto even a fraction of the January’s frugal awesomeness, you’ll have your best financial year ever!
Do you think January is the most frugal month? How do you stay motivated through the year?
See also: 6 Reasons Being Frugal is Awesome!