Living on a budget during the holidaysWe are in the festive season, a period that is characterized by a lot of spending which is the cause of the festive financial hangover. The holiday period is also the time that sees many travel upcountry to be with their extended folks and of course, there is no way you are going to go visiting empty handed. At the same time, you find that you have been working the whole year tirelessly and now you can get a leave that you have craved for so much, and you desperately need to treat yourself for the hard work you have put in throughout the year, I mean you deserve it. The kids are also eagerly waiting for their gifts as you promised them and you do not want to disappoint them.

 

Well, as much as we want to experience the spoils that we have so denied ourselves through the year, we find that sometimes it tends to go overboard.  The festive financial hangover then kicks in on the new years as seen through the complaints heard in January. Statements such as January has mini-months within the month become the story, but this does not have to be your story.

How can you make the festive season still awesome without the financial hangover? Use these simple steps;

  • Invest in your children’s financial futures.Schools will soon open after the festivities. Prioritising them should always be your goal to avoid the back to school hustle. Paying the school fees early before the festivities begin, could save you quite a lot. If you need to buy the kids toys, they do not have to be expensive. Find toys that fit your budget, and you will have killed two birds with one stone.
  • Watch out for deals that seem too good to be true. Retailers and websites run all sorts of specials to induce consumers to buy now, and the holidays offer these companies easy prey in the form of deal-seeking, cash-strapped consumers. For example, furniture stores frequently provide that if you buy now, you don’t have to pay a thing for a year, and you might even get free delivery. This sort of “push” marketing can make it harder for you to say no.
  • Set a budget and keep tabs on what you are spendingWhile you’re doing your holiday shopping, your new best friend should be your bank account records. It’s easy to get into a spending rhythm when shopping for yourself or others, and that’s why you need to keep track of every purchase you make and make sure you don’t go over your budget. When you start to add up everything you’re spending, you may be shocked at what all those expenses add up to be, and don’t forget about all those ‘necessary’ holiday extras. Most people don’t budget their shopping and don’t realize that by the time you buy all the presents, plus wrapping paper, cards, decorations, etc., it’s added up to a ridiculous amount.

  • Find an alternative to gift-giving during the holidays. Many people feel they have to give gifts during the holidays, either because it’s a family tradition or because they know their friends and relatives have gotten gifts for them. There are plenty of great ways to trade in this culture for another one that is even more meaningful, and chances are your family and friends will be happy to save gift-buying cash as well. Instead of exchanging gifts, your family members might want to pool their money and spend it on a holiday outing.

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