Do these 5 things to make sure you're not broke in January

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This time of year is always exciting especially if you have kids. Presents, parties, food, fun, it's all there.

But it's expensive too – flipping expensive – and if you don't keep some kind of control on your bank account you're going to have a pretty bleak January.

We asked Maya Fisher-French, an award-winning financial journalist and author of the book Maya On Money: Implement Your Money Plan, for her five top tips for surviving the silly season.

Pay your bills before you spend

Most of us are paid earlier in December but remember this money has to last until the end of January. Pay all bills before you do anything else.

Cut up the cards

If you don’t have store cards, you can’t be tempted to use them. Over this period we need all the self-discipline we can get! Destroy your store cards so you don't get into (more) debt.

Read more: What you need to know before you get a credit card

Use your loyalty rewards

Research shows that on average we belong to around six different reward schemes. Firstly, get rid of those you don’t use or which you are paying more towards than benefiting from. Secondly, work out how to use those rewards to ease the budget pressure this festive season

Kickstart those savings

A bit of extra cash at the end of the year is a great way to start a tax-free savings plan – even if you put only R1 000 aside. You'll reap the rewards by this time next year when the amount has grown nicely!

Remember to breathe

Research has shown Christmas is one of the most stressful times of year. There is a lot we can do to de-stress and it starts with being realistic about what the season means to you and your family. Make a list of the things that make you feel most overwhelmed and cut one of those off the list.

Happy festive season survival!

Maya On Money: Implement Your Money Plan, by Maya Fisher-French (Tafelberg, R214 from Maya On Money: Implement Your Money Plan, by Maya Fisher-French (Tafelberg, R214 from

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