This year seems to be flying by and with a month full of long weekends ahead, April might be a tough financial challenge. Apart from the school holidays, there is Easter weekend to look forward to, as well as Freedom Day and Workers’ Day. While these holidays provide us with amazing opportunities to have fun with the family, it also costs a lot of money and puts a strain on our budgets.
It is going to take some serious self-discipline to stay ahead in budget management and avoid paying for it long after. By following a few easy steps, you can avoid the April money hangover and stay well in control of your budget.
1 Use cash instead of cards
We are all guilty of losing common sense when on holiday – especially when it comes to spending. Take control and avoid temptation by using cash instead of cards. This way you can avoid impulse and usually unnecessary buys, and it is easier to keep track of spending and to stick to your budget.
2 Festive food
As South Africans, we love to spend time around a festive food table with family and friends. Unfortunately eating out has become very expensive so opting for a few alternatives will assist to keep the expenditure at bay.
2.1 Host a potluck / Bring-and-Braai / Picnic
Long weekends are for spending time with family and friends and what better way to do it at home where everyone pitches in with a dish contribution. In South Africa we have the best weather so why not appreciate our beautiful country and pack a nice picnic and head for your local Botanical Gardens.
Food and drink are much cheaper from your local supermarket, and with everyone feeling the economic pinch your family and friends will love you for this idea.
2.2 Do Breakfast rather
If you do have to go out with the family and friends rather suggest a breakfast as it is much cheaper than a lunch or dinner. You can still have the hearty food, ambience and excellent quality time and your budget will be in much better shape.
2.3 Pack your lunch
For the few days that you need to work in-between you can give your wallet time to recover by packing your lunch and cut back on the cappuccinos.
3 Easter spending
The Easter decorations and baskets available in the shops are gorgeous but overpriced. Keep the kids busy and your Easter expenditure at bay with creating these at home. The kids can make and decorate their own Easter baskets. You can fill this with sweets and chocolates that you bought in bulk and with food colouring they can let out their inner artist on eggs. The majority of supermarkets also sell their Easter chocolates at significantly reduced prices over Easter weekend to get rid of their stock so keep a look out.
The kids can also create awesome Easter decorations for the home and who would not wear their own self-made bunny ears with pride and joy?
You can also save by arranging your own Easter egg hunt by hiding away all the fillings of the Easter basket in your garden and get the kids to look for it. Some places do offer free entrance to their Easter egg hunts so be on the lookout for them in your area.
4 Coupons, discounts and things to do.
As with all themed holidays, good discounts and free coupons are always available so keep an eye out for these.
Over long weekend various festivals and markets are being held in your area so have a look out for these and be a tourist in your own hometown. You will be surprised with the awesome holiday you can have locally without spending a fortune.
If your current debt puts a dampener on any long weekend and holiday, please don’t despair. Debt Rescue can help to put you back on track and avoid any further money hangovers.