BLOGGING THE VIEW: Stretching those cents in January

MY very fleeting relationship with money becomes even more fleeting as the days of January roll on, and it’s time to get into Super Saver mode.

Despite all my best efforts at budgeting, and promises to make that early December payment last until mid-July, the New Year always kicks off in the red.

But I know I’m not alone here, and rather than us all suffering through this month in sadness, let’s try some of these really user-friendly money-saving tips.

Quench that thirst

Yes, a cool can of coke or ice-cold beer is what we all really want, but it’s January now so get your mind right. It’s water or nothing!

And I’m not talking about a fancy bottle of sparkling Aquelle from the petrol station; it’s time for tap water. But don’t make the mistake of drinking your own tap water, that’s just going to cost you in the long run. uMhlatuze is watching.

Take a walk down the road and pop into a neighbour’s yard or local sport club and drink their tap water.

Remember, it’s January in Zululand so you’re going to have to let it run for about 10 minutes until it cools to a drinkable 30 degrees or so. Nothing quite as thirst-quenching as that copper-flavoured water.

Re-consider your transport

Petrol costs have no place in January, so why not save on bucks and get some exercise at the same time?

Walking to work is a healthy change of pace and really underrated.

Depending on where you work, you might have to wake up two or three hours earlier, but it’s definitely achievable.

Just remember to pack a change of clothes – you’re going to need it – and plan a route that passes by lots of outdoor taps.

Visit your relatives

Just because you spent far too much time with them in December doesn’t mean you can’t spend far too much time with them in January too.

When visiting relatives, remember to bring along a cooler box and wallet for that leftover food and loose change lying around the house. Remember – it’s not stealing if it’s family.

Re-set all your passwords and pins

You can’t spend your money if you can’t get to your money. It’s a fact.

So why not change all your online password log-ins and banking pin details to something random and easily forgotten.

This way, you will be locked out of your bank accounts and – come February – you have the fun task of dealing with call centres to re-set passwords. It’s a win-win.

Sell, sell, sell

Make some quick money by selling things from around the house. Family heirloom you never liked?

Sell! Wedding dress you haven’t worn in years? Sell! Pet hamster with escalating medical costs? Sell!

There’s money to be made everywhere.

January is a tough month, but we’re all in it together, and you now know there are options out there.

You just need to get into the January mindset. So remember, if life hands you lemons… sell them!