“We need money that can let us forget about January. For now, January is looking at us in a very awkward way,” a Facebook post by lawyer Edudzi Kudzo Tameklo, an aide to former President John Dramani Mahama.
The post elicited a number of reactions with the majority of people using the ‘Haha’ emoji. In the comments section, some people are accusing him of preempting demands, whiles others want him to share his money because he has lots of it.
January becomes the butt of jokes on social media in early December each year and onward throughout the festive season.
Whiles some caution against overspending in December because January will definitely come, others point to the fact that January is indisputably the longest month of each year despite being the first.
GhanaWeb explores some of the reasons for which the first 30-days of each year is considered a hard and difficult month – emphasis ours.
Load of responsibilities and New Academic Year
January for many is a new beginning because December is the last month but also because December comes with the festivities of the Christman season into the end of year.
Usually two weeks into January, schools reopen and with that, parents have to pay fees and buy supplies for the new academic year. If unplanned, this leaves parents in a difficult place.
Drain from early December salary and expense load
Given the festive nature of December, salaries and in some instances, bonuses are paid early in the month. If a person is unable to resist the temptation of engaging in “detty” December mentality – i.e. spending anyhow – the teeth of January often bites hard.
Impulse buying over holiday
Aside the chilling aspect of expending December salary and bonuses, the festive period comes with the temptation of impulse buying with attendant discounted sales in the markets and malls.
Indisciplined or unplanned buying is a sure route to get locked up in a heady and difficult January for all one’s troubles.
General rise in prices of goods and services
With budgets usually presented in December of a preceding year, most new taxes take effect early the following year.
With that development comes the issue of general rise in prices of goods as traders seek to ramp profits early on in the year. Items that are in high demand like stationary end up having hiked prices as schools reopen.
Generally, prices of utility could also marginally or sharply spike for different reasons, not forgetting the issue of fuel price and attendant effect on public transport fares.
For all who have to wait till late January to receive their next paychecks, the month will certainly look gloomy and bleak and in worse case scenarios, salary advance and or loans become the go-to remedy.
But whether or not January is a difficult month or one that gives anyone a soft-landing, is essentially a case of planning and sticking to plan.