5 Reasons January is the BEST Month of the Year
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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.
See also: How Greg Lost 35 Pounds Using an Exercise Video
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!
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Agree December is one of my expensive month of the year (together June), for January I can say to be frugal, I have only 1 birthday and considering I’m going to be more frugal instead December, this is perfect month…time for myself only, sometimes is necessary
January seems like the longest month too. I’d swear there were 60 days. More than enough time to get finances on track!
Treat the whole year like January 1st……love this! I love January for it smells and breathes BRAND NEW. Good luck with all your endeavors in 2016.
If everyone just listens to this post my year will be amazing because my blog is doing SO well since after Christmas (everyone is getting on a budget and planning for 2016!). So, I hope it keeps up 🙂
With my birthday and wife’s Birthday , and a few other family members this month, January is not so frugal for us. 🙁 For most typically January is a back to basics month. Setting goals with milestones or periodic check ins is a good way to stay motivate during the year.
I agree that it’s a relief to have the holidays (and their spending and busyness) behind us. I don’t really look forward to winter in our area, but the new year is a great time to refocus and I do enjoy that!
I’m with Brian, my birthday is this month as well as one on Feb 2nd for one of our kiddos so January isn’t always the most frugal for us but we still manage to keep things reined in – we just budget for it. 🙂
I was just thinking this past weekend that I don’t like January because it’s cold/snowy and there is no holiday magic to look forward to, BUT you have so many good points about it being a frugal person’s dream month. Happy January! 🙂
This year I\’ve had some trouble remembering that I have actually entered 2016 because for some reason, my mind keeps telling me I\’m still in December 2015. Each time I realize the new year has begun, I smile a little about the clean slate I have to accomplish various goals that should have been accomplished last year! For me, January is a frugal month because all the retailers seem to want to get rid of old stuff by putting things on sales.
I’ve been so antsy to get the year started. I hate that the New Year fell on a Friday. Ready to get the ball rolling!
Yes! I wish we could have quarterly year celebrations. I love the positivity and the hopefulness…especially in the doldrums of winter.
I love January! I love how it feels like a fresh start 🙂 Plus, this will be our cheapest month in a very long time.
January is a good month because it is like a fresh start. It represents time for you to get on the right track.
Most of us get a lot of things wrong throughout the year. I appreciate the chance to get it right.
I also love January though it’s not super cheap for us, my husband’s birthday and professional license dues and due…Booo…we now also have ballet classes to throw in the mix….but i do still love a new month and year….it hasn’t totally hit me yet though. I did spend today finalizing what will be a new budget for us so I’m eager to see it in action 🙂
It’s tough to be productive and motivated from Thanksgiving to New Years with all the holiday madness. While I loved seeing friends and family, I’m ready to not have my budget busted from buying Christmas presents and all those gatherings!
My wife calls me a Scrooge during the holidays. With the exception of kids, I’m not that big of a fan of getting presents for EVERYONE. Buying Christmas presents is an art – you’re trying to buy something that someone wants, but doesn’t want enough to buy for themselves. It’s madness.
Ha I chuckled at the thought of a “real lives of financial planners” tv show…
I’ve always loved January not because of the reset on the calendar but because of the break from the holidays. Our daycare shuts off for what ends up being ten+ days (includes weekends) so I pretty much stop working. At first it was tough but after a few years I look forward to it, it makes for a nice reset and recharge for the new year.
January is Birthday season in my family so I’m not done buying gifts yet, and I like the idea of treating the whole year like it’s January 1. My goals tend to change throughout the year so it’s important for me to be okay with starting over or regrouping in the middle of a random month instead of waiting for a whole new year.
I am SO thankful it’s January!! I just somehow mentally shut down for the last two weeks of the year and it was tough for me to find motivation in anything other than eating, drinking and lounging. Literally yesterday I felt like I checked back in and I am off to the races! I’m looking forward to a big 2016 and ready to finally kick it off.
My oldest’s birthday is on Thursday…no relief for me! Actually the only month of the year we do t have someone’s birthday is June! My husband’s party idea this year is ridiculous (especially since I had no plan for a party. I try to stick to milestones 1, 5, 10, 13, 16, 18 and 21-though the last two I’m sure my kids won’t want ME around!). I had to concede on this because he felt pretty strongly that she should have a party. He doesn’t really insist on many things! So we are spending way too much. All budgeted and paid for but still. We really had a pretty chill and nice holiday season. The worst thing was the one day I had to spend in the kitchen to make Oreo truffles…buuuut I actually enjoyed it and it meant our coworker gifts came in under $30 for 13 people!
I am glad to start a fresh year and we have some big goals that we are looking forward to accomplishing. Happy new year to all!
These are the exact reasons why I like January also. The feeling of the new year feels fresh and new. As much as I like the holidays, a new year for a new beginning feels great also!