It probably all began in November with purchasing greeting cards. And continued expanding from there. Gifts for the family members, nuclear and extended, the trip to the village, the new shoes and clothes, the parties, hosting several guests at home and having a merry time. That’s how the festive period probably panned out for several people. No matter how much the recession affected you, the holiday period must have come with increased spending. The reality, though, is that holidays have come and are going. And the bills are piling up. These are 4 common financial obligations that are already flitting through the minds of family heads.

  1. House Rent: For the majority who do not live in their privately-owned properties, January means that the landlord is waiting for the next payment. Don’t think the hamper you gave him will get you additional time. The landlord is already calculating where the money is going so it’s time to cough it out.

What you could have done: For those with secular employment, you could have opened an account for this specific purpose, instructing your financial institution to transfer a certain proportion of your salary to the account. For those who run businesses, you could consider paying your rent up front such that it expires mid-year. That way, you have one less thing to worry about this delicate January period.

  1. School Fees: for families with children in the first 12 years of education, January means the beginning of another term and thus, another set of school fees. School administrators are probably going to be on the prowl for the fees as soon as school resumes so this should already be on minds of family heads. The more the number of children, the more

What you could have done: Just like with the rent, you can open a specific account for this purpose. In fact, there are some banks with this kind of back-to-school accounts. Another alternative would be pay all or a significant part of the fees towards the end of the previous term

  1. Renewal Fees: Driver’s licenses, insurance covers, business permits, car papers, taxes and other government-related fees etc. all tend to expire at the year, making renewals compulsory in the January (if you don’t want to risk the ire of regulatory bodies). Another headache to worry about.

What you could have done: Consider paying off some of these fees before the festive period kicks in. It will   make January a lot less stressful for you.

  1. Utility Bills: Water, electricity, waste disposal and other amenities will have their respective distributors printing and distributing their bills right about now, meaning if you don’t want to be without these necessary amenities, then you have to pay up.

What you could have done: Since these bills are usually around the same range monthly/yearly, you already have a pretty good idea of what they’ll add up to. You can consider separating an amount that if won’t eventually pay them all off, will at least remove a sizeable chunk off them.

Yes, it may seem that all these solutions will leave nothing left for the holidays. However, with careful planning and a saving culture, you can effectively spread the money needed for these essentials into 12 months instead of waiting for January. Everybody deserves to kick a new year off in a relaxed mode. So, since it’s too late to apply these suggestions now, why start planning against January 2018.

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