The festive season is fast approaching and with all the braais, cocktail lunches with the girls, travelling with family and the Christmas lunch, your budget can easily be thrown out the window, giving you a financial hangover come January.
Here are some tips to stay on top of your finances throughout the holidays:
- Budget for your holiday expenditure
It’s easy to throw caution to the wind with all the festivities happening this time of the year. To remain prudent, create a ‘special’ budget for the holiday season. Besides the normal month-to-month expenditure, a big chunk will be allocated to entertainment. While this is fine and you are allowed some down time, spend only what you have. Don’t go into the red over #December to only feel the pain in the New Year.
- Have January in mind
Further to budgeting for your holiday spend, do a January budget already. This will give you a clear picture of how much you should actually be spending and also put away for the month of January….we all know January can be a looong month if you don’t budget well.
To save you from your own weakness of over-spending, perhaps it would be a good idea to transfer some funds into a different account from your normal day-to-day bank account.
- Pay off your debt
If you are lucky enough to have your bonus paid now in November or December, pay off your debt or at least most of it. I know it does put a damper on the fun spirit of the festive season to be talking about paying debt when you should be having fun, right? But, you must hold yourself accountable, pay your debts and start off the New Year on a good financial note.
- Enjoy your holidays
It is indeed a time to spend quality time with friends and family, have fun and relax. It does not have to be expensive though. You can opt to entertain the kids in an affordable way like taking them to the park or having a picnic in your very own backyard etc.
Christmas gifts can be costly, so don’t even try to compete with that rich aunty who buys the coolest gifts, don’t do it! You can agree with family members what the budget for gifts should be; something affordable and thoughtful.
How are you making sure you don’t over-spend this holiday season tribe?