The December holidays are almost here. So how do you ensure that you don’t overspend and not left with the Janu-worry blues next year?
“The holiday season is a great time to spend with your family and friends, but we sometimes tend to overspend on things that we don’t need. Having a checklist sometimes helps ensure that we stick to our budgets and don’t overspend,” said Ester Ochse, from FNB.
- Start saving early. You would have an idea of what you will be doing over the holiday season so start saving early. Saving from the onset will help costs over the holiday and festive season and offset any unexpected expenses.
- Budget for the month. On top of your yearly budget, ensure that you have a dedicated December budget. Many families celebrate the festive season and holidays in December, so expenses can easily pile up. In addition to the holiday saving, ensure that you save adequately for festive season gifts as these can be quite expensive.
- Travelling abroad or locally? When travelling abroad consider adding the following costs to your budget: visa, return-flights, accommodation, food, entertainment, transport, tours and shopping. Local traveling, be it by car or airplane still adds up as you must pay for toll-fees, food, fuel, entertainment and accommodation. .
- Staycation entertainment. The December period is a time for spending time with family and friends. So, whilst the occasional night out at fancy restaurants sounds great, rather spend the time at home cooking up scrumptious meals. This will help save costs as restaurant bills can add-up and become costly. The holiday period is also a long time to be at home so encourage your children to be creative with DIY fun activities that are free like movie or game nights. Families with pets will also save as they will not have to put them in a kennel.
- Shopping. Make a list of what you will need over the holiday season and start shopping early. Those non-perishable items can be bought early and stored for the December period. In addition, many clothing retailers will have major sales, so wait for those sales instead of making those early purchases.
“A simple checklist will help guide you through your financial goals. It’s another way where you can monitor and ensure that you don’t wrack up your finances in a short period of time.”