Practicing financial discipline can be difficult during the festive season. Not only are there enticing social gatherings that make you feel like you have a couple of Rands to blow, but there are also gifts, food, and trips.
Without a budget in place, you could find yourself staring at a wallet full of slips and a bank account in critical condition when January swings by. It is still possible to make the most of your holiday without blowing a hole into your budget. Here are some handy tips to keep in mind before you kick back and relax.
Budget, budget, budget!
Make it a mantra, put it on the fridge, save it as your screen saver, or even start a hashtag if you have to. Whatever it takes to make you remember that budgeting is a priority this festive season. Sticking to the 'I see it, I want it' way of shopping can easily see the numbers in your bank account drop rapidly.
While it may be tempting to fulfill the rich aunt/uncle aesthetic and blow money that your family members believe you have, this could drain your budget mercilessly. Create a realistic budget that can accommodate your needs, the 'treat yourself' list, transport, and gift budget and stick to it. Avoid places that can tempt you into becoming a money spender.
Put research into your purchases
Make a list and check it twice when it comes to gifts that you can buy while the prices are low. When Christmas swings by, it will not feel like you will have to part with your arm or leg to put a smile on your loved ones’ smile.
You can never go wrong by comparing prices for major purchases or gifts you would like to have. Compare in-store prices to those online to see if you can get a better deal. Go the extra mile by going with the exact amount you need to spend on the gift to avoid purchasing something else that you have not budget for.
Be mindful of how you swipe
Credit cards can come in handy when dealing with a range of expenses. However, things can easily swing out of control if you are not mindful of what you put on your card. Furthermore, there will be interest that will need to be paid.
Compare what cards are currently on the market to give you a better interest rate to make repayments easier. Try to avoid using your credit card for things that you do not need or could save towards to help reduce the amount you owe.
Planning ahead of the rush is one of the best things that your future self will thank you for. It also leaves enough breathing room to get your hands on good deals and be creative with what you have to make your holidays worthwhile.