How to manage your money during the festive season

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What you need to know:

  • Rather than planning for parties, you can plan for volunteer activities together with your loved ones.


  • Many appreciate the gift of time, and a volunteering activity, such as supporting a charity cause, will allow you to bond and save lots of money.


  • Remember, not all gifts have to be monetary. The festive season is about spending time with family and this does not have to result in debt.

It is no secret that you are more likely to overspend during the festive season compared to any other time of the year. There are lots of tempting offers and discounts on products, making it easy to buy things on impulse.

Additionally, there’s the pressure to treat yourself to a vacation or a luxurious experience you typically wouldn’t indulge in. During this period, the pressure to overspend is at an all-time high, with people sharing photos and videos of themselves on social media having the time of their lives. There’s also the pressure to be generous and gift your friends and family members. If you’re not careful, you’re likely to start January with empty pockets.

Here’s how to manage your finances during this period to avoid running into debt and having a very stressful January.

Budget for the festive season
The best way to approach this season is with a budget to guide your spending. Take an honest account of how much money you’ll have after taking care of your regular expenses. This way, you’ll keep track of your money and avoid starting the year broke. Additionally, you can save for the festivities during the first few months of the year. This can make you better prepared for unexpected events such as a job loss.

If you intend to gift yourself or others, come up with a list of people you want to gift, and a detailed budget. Only buy the presents after identifying how much money you have to spare after you’ve taken care of your monthly expenses. 

Since you’re likely to find offers almost everywhere you go, come up with a list of items you intend to purchase and budget for them too. By taking these two steps, you minimise the likelihood of spending impulsively.

Manage the expectations of people close to you
As an adult, it is likely that there are people who depend on you for support, especially family members and friends. It could be that they expect you to do things for them during this period, such as taking them out, going shopping or going for vacation.

After coming up with a budget and identifying how much you intend to spend, communicate this to those who depend on you. Let them know how you intend to spend during this period and what activities you’re available for. This way, you save them and yourself from disappointment.

Avoid going out frequently
The festive season is full of events and chances to go out and meet with people. However, you don’t have to go to all events, and you certainly don’t have to go out every weekend. You are more likely to spend while you’re out compared to when staying at home.

Rather than going out every day, you and your friends or family can meet up at home and cook your own food instead. This will save you lots of money. Additionally, if you intend to go out, eat before going out. This will reduce the temptation to snack, which may result in unplanned expenses.

Rather than planning for parties, you can plan for volunteer activities together with your loved ones. Many appreciate the gift of time, and a volunteering activity, such as supporting a charity cause, will allow you to bond and save lots of money. Remember, not all gifts have to be monetary. The festive season is about spending time with family and this does not have to result in debt.


 

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