Few things can add insult to injury during those post-holiday-blues, quite like overdrawn, maxed-out bank accounts. So don’t do it to yourself this year. Here, are six practical tips to curb overspending this holiday:
1. Set a daily budget
Divide your holiday budget by the amount of days you are on holiday for. A daily budget will help you stretch your money over the entire period so you don’t have to rely on credit for the difference.
Whatever you do, don’t dip into your December salary beforehand. January is a long month, and if you have less money than usual it will feel even longer.
2. Carry your daily budget in cash
Why cash? Because it is tangible. You can see it, feel it and physically count it. Tracking card purchases are more manageable during the year, but over the holidays it can become impossible. After a while it becomes a guessing game. So make it more difficult to overspend by having your daily budget in cash.
Important: Beware of theft by staying vigilant!
3. Block access to more
It is difficult to overspend when you don’t have easy access to more than you are allowed. That means locking your cards in the safe at home or at your holiday accommodation, and literally only carrying your daily allowance on you to the mall, beach, restaurant etc.
4. Create a spending itinerary
It isn’t really possible to plan your entire holiday in advance but try and plan and prioritise spending as much as possible. For e.g. limit trips to the mall or paid activities to once every three days, eating out to once every five days, vendor food/snacks to once per day etc. There are so many free events and activities to benefit from during the holidays. As a family list as many as you can so that you have plenty of free options that will take the pressure off your budget.
5. Make shopping lists
Grocery trips can devour large chunks from your daily budget if you aren’t careful. Especially, if you go unprepared. Before you leave for the store, first check the fridge and pantry for what you have, then make a list of what you need. Try and stick to your lists as much as possible.
6. Make it a team effort
It is difficult for one person to keep the family on a budget. The more you’ll try and stick to your budget, the more competition you’ll get from your family members. Rather make the holiday budget a team effort. Make sure everyone knows what the budget is and how the budget system will work. This way when suggestions are made for things to do on a specific day, and costs are established, everyone will know whether it will be doable or not.
A holiday is all about relaxing and taking a breather from everyday worries. And by staying in your budget you can ensure that you won’t have any regrets or added burdens in the New Year.
If you are too over-indebted and unsure how you will survive this holiday financially, give Debt Rescue a call. One of our expert Debt Counsellors will give you the guidance and advice you need.