Banco Nacional has issued advice to customers about how to smooth out the cuesta de enero, the big financial hump in January generated by expenses in December.
The advice probably will not help this year, because the bank suggests saving early and putting away part of the mandatory Christmas bonus, the aguinaldo.
But there always is next year, and the bank suggests using its various investment programs.
The situation being what is is, many Costa Ricans will be seeking loans instead. The cuesta de enero is not a bad period for the many pawnshops. A quick look at a pawn shop window shows that some of the Christmas gifts end up there in a few weeks for loans that are a small percentage of the article’s worth.
The pawn shops or casas de empeño are not just a source of funds for burglars and robbers, For many Costa Ricans, they are an integral part of their monthly finances.