Analysis –“January disease” can be eradicated through planning

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Masvingo (New Ziana) -It is January, the most difficult month of the year when many families struggle to make ends meet due to the numerous expenses that they have to incur.

With a few dollars left from the Christmas and the New Year festivities, parents will need to pay rentals, school fees, buy new uniforms, pay for transport as well as put food on the table.

To some the month of January seems different from other months, with some joking that it has more days, while the lack of money is popularly known as the ‘January disease’.

There is also a popular joke that the cabbage which was used as salad in December becomes more delicious than ever as relish in the month of January alongside soya bean chunks.

With people having been paid their bonuses in December, impulse buying is one of the “diseases” that consumers develop as many find themselves spending on clothes, parties and gifts whose purchase was never planned.

Consumer Council of Zimbabwe executive director Rosemary Mpofu said people should draw up budgets with their families and consult each other on priorities.

Mpofu said proper planning helps eradicate the “January disease” from consumers as they would not have overspent through buying things that were essential and of priority.

“Of note, consumers need to plan and have proper budgets with families, consulting each other on expenses at the same time listing priorities such as rentals, utility bills, medication, food and travel expenses if any, at the same time keeping in mind that school fees for first term, inclusive of uniforms, needs to be saved for.

“We need to eradicate the January disease mentality by preparing household budgets catering for priority items needed as families, as we have noted that mostly during the month of January some families struggle to put food on table owing to overspending.”
New Ziana

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