Spending the festive season relaxed without having to be anxious or facing a barren bank account when January comes by requires skill. Thinking ahead is one, budgeting and being disciplined enough to stick to said budget is another.
Our handy guide can help you enjoy your festive holiday without financial stress.
Budget around deals
Having a discount on a holiday, present or flight is music to anyone's ear. Once you have created a budget that factors in your needs, wants, and entertainment (don't forget to include presents), the next step is to shop for discounted deals. Online is the best place for South African's to find great deals, with 47% of consumers taking advantage of sales and bargains. Factor this into your plans, and you could potentially save hundreds of Rands in the process.
Ditch last minute planning
Indeed, you cannot factor every expense that may pop up on a trip, which is why it is crucial to have an emergency savings budget to pay for such surprises. However, one of the many factors that put a dent in people’s budget is doing last-minute purchases or outings that they have not planned for.
The common excuse is to tell ourselves that this will be paid back later, but most of the time we end up playing catch up in the new year for an expense that happened over the festive season. Being honest to yourself and your loved ones by saying no to things that have not been budgeted for will remove the financial pressure.
Share the expenses
Where possible, try to share the expense with loved ones. One thing that is common over the festive season are family gatherings, food and drinks. Bearing the cost alone can be expensive but moving towards a ‘bring and share’ for a family gathering can ensure that everyone contributes what they can to the fun and spreads the financial cost of hosting such gatherings.
Set a price limit on gifts
It is easy for gift expenses to spiral out of control. Most people will be shopping for their loved ones and want to gift something worthwhile. However, not having a set list of who you will be gifting and the price range you will be able to afford can blow a hole in your budget. Try opting for a set limit of how much you will be willing to spend on gifts.
Save through reward programmes
Tap into the reward programmes that are offered by a range of stores and supermarkets. It can come in handy, especially when we tend to do large amounts of shopping on groceries over the festive period. Most programs offer discounts on bulk purchases and you can also collect points that can be used in January. Always remember to check how the reward system is structured to see where you can get more value for your money.