The Festive Season is coming
With just over 2 months to go before the shopping malls are filled with carols and people are rushing around at the last minute to buy the perfect gift, we look at how you can enjoy the festive season without breaking the bank.
The Festive Season reality
Let’s be honest. We all have the best intention to be financially proactive so that we are able to be stress free and enjoy the festive season with family and friends. But before we know it we get caught up in the hype and over-extend ourselves.
How to be stress free during the Festive Season
Planning is key. We look at a few things that you can consider when preparing your festive season spending:
- Make a list of everyone that you want to buy for. Allocate what you are willing to spend per individual and stick to it.
- If you are a creative master, make your own gifts.
- Making your own gifts? Then why not make the gift wrapping paper as well. Buy brown paper, a stamp and a colour paint of your choice. Gift wrapping dilemma sorted.
- Keep a look out for deals on sites such as Groupon and Daddy’s Deals.
- Be proactive – start buying gifts now. Keep a look out for sales and purchase your gifts well ahead of time.
- Stores run various special offers during the festive season, shop around for ones that offer the best budget-friendly options.
- If you are hosting a dinner, ask each one of your guests to bring a dish. This way you will have a great variety of food and you don’t have to carry all the cost.
- Shop at stores where you get rewarded (Smart Shopper, WRewards)
- Be realistic with the amount of groceries you buy and plan meals. Do not buy too much food and end up throwing most of it away.
- Track your spending so that you are able to stay within your allocated budget
- Leave your credit card at home. It is easy to swipe, but hard to pay back.
- Do not shop last minute. Not only will it save you the headaches of crowded stores, but it will save you some Rands as well.
- Avoid impulse buying (those check-out aisle items) as these can very quickly add up.
- If you have not yet budgeted and planned ahead for a holiday, rather stay at home.
- If you are flying somewhere try and use your frequent flyer miles.
- When booking accommodation, try and stick to self-catering options. This way you can decide what you want to cook and you will save a bit on catered meals and restaurant food.
Some final advice
January might seem just around the corner, but it can feel far away when you’ve spent January’s budget in December. Think ahead and know when your next pay check will come in. Don’t take out a loan to spend over this time – you will feel the pressure of paying this back in the New Year.
If you have children, you need to plan ahead for the back-to-school expenses. You don’t want to be caught off-guard last minute for not having cash-flow to cover school necessities.
If you are lucky enough to receive a 13th cheque, plan what you would like to do with the money. Consider your best options:
- Pay off your credit card
- Keep the money for January when you have back-to-school expenses
- Save it for a dream trip in the New Year
Start your planning and have a stress free festive season.