The festive season is here.
Shops across the country have hung up the tinsel and loaded the shelves with festive goodies. This year went by faster than we expected. And the festive season will pass just as fast.
Nobody likes the Januworry money blues. Particularly with debt carried over from December festivities. But how do we stop this cycle when the festive season is all about giving?
The answer – we give ourselves a gift this year. Instead, we decide to look after our money. We change our gift giving philosophy. We learn to plan well, while enjoying the process! And finally, we make sure that we only spend what we have put aside in our spending plan and nothing more.
So, let’s dive into some important things we need to do to make it through the festive season with our heads and money above water.
Make a spending planner
This is the first step and the earlier you start, the better. December is around the corner. Start thinking about any festive and out of the ordinary spending you plan to do now.
When you know how much you plan to spend, it’s easier to stick to. Don’t rush in blind with money ready to spend… The ending won’t be pretty.
There are many free planners like this one from Microsoft. They are easy to set up and will help you save time. Simply change the dollars to rands and fill in what you intend to spend.
Don’t forget to include your new spending planner with you monthly budget if you don’t have savings set aside or a bonus to fund the holiday period. Especially if you want to avoid Januworry.
Break down your spending categories.
- Total available for gifts
- Total available for food
- Total available for gift wrap
- Total available for decorations
Once you know how much you plan on spending, it’s time to plan how to get the most out of that amount. The tricky part is sticking to it. Do you accept the challenge?
Start your meal planner, gift planner, party planner, or whatever you need for holiday season to be a success.
Over the holiday season we tend to go visit the shops more frequently. Make sure that you are only going for the items you’ve planned for. To help you stay on track, make a list and stick to it.
You will regret spending money that you shouldn’t have later.
Manage impulse buying
During the festive season, impulse buying can be difficult to manage. When we feel happy with friends and family around, it can become difficult to hold back on spending. Unplanned meals out, extra gifts, party outfits, extra groceries… Stick to the list and your planner.
If you know your an impluse buyer, take a list and cash only. This will help you stay focused and get exactly what you need without over spending.
It will take great willpower. But keep your spend exactly to the spending planner. Forget Januworry. If you succeed in keeping to your planner, it will make January a month worth celebrating.
DIY as much as possible
From decorations to gifts, DIY is everywhere over the festive period. And it can save a lot of money in the long run. It’s a great way to keep the kids busy, impress loved ones with thoughtful gifts and feed your guests in style.
Simple, cost-effective DIY ideas are all over the internet. So you won’t be short of inspiration! Places like Pinterest are a great place to start.
💡Idea: Give a lasting gift this year with a small pot plant or herbs planted in a special mug.
Festive greeting cards can range from R18 to R60 per card. If you make them instead, the most you will spend will be on paper, pens and glue. And glitter, of course. You can make a lot of cards with just R100. Get the kids involved in the pasting and drawing and see what a wonderful experience card making can be.
Set gift rules
Set gift expectations with your loved ones and friends early. Whether it’s a price limit or a total gift limit.
Some families use the four gift rule. Each person only gets four gifts: something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read.
Do a Secret Santa for adult gifts
Christmas is just different when you’re a kid. But for us adults, we feel that spending. It’s one thing getting a few gifts for the children, but buying a couple of gifts for your adult friends and family, can get expensive. And fast.
Play Secret Santa to set gifts expectations for all your friend and family members. Agree on an amount and everyone is happy. And so is your bank balance.
Get the family together or create a WhatsApp group to get the ball rolling. Propose a Secret Santa with a gift limit this year and get everyone on board early. The sooner you know what you’re spending, the better.
Just before you whizz away to go plan your holiday spending…
Debt Rescue has an amazing offer for South Africans who cannot afford their debt repayments and still want to enjoy the festive season. Until December 31, 2022, we are giving every new client at Debt Rescue a free Samsung Galaxy Smartphone. If you feel that your debt is weighing you down and you would like us to help you restructure your repayments and make your budget work for you, get in touch with us now.