The holiday season is with us again and expectations are high for Christmas and New Year celebrations. Due to its festive nature, overspending is normally rampant during this period and if you are not keen with your budget, you can easily find yourself trapped in a pitfall of debts. It doesn’t help that instant mobile loans are now readily available. Having a good time with friends and relatives is a great way to celebrate, but even as you aspire to please your loved ones, spending within your means is the shrewdest move you can make. Drafting a budget and sticking to it will not only bring joy to you but also chase away post-holiday stress. No matter how much money you have, these 5 hacks will help you sail through the festive season with ease.
Avoid impulse shopping
Impulse buying is any purchase you do without prior planning. With all the colourful displays and seasonal discounts at your favorite outlets, it can be very difficult to resist unplanned shopping sprees. However, more often than not, you will end up with buyers’ remorse and if you overdo it, debt. This is not to say that you should not do any shopping this season, just plan carefully. Set a budget, make a list of things you would like to get and compare prices across retailers. This way, your spending is not left unchecked.
Get creative with gifts
Admit it, you are looking forward to unwrapping as many gifts as possible on Boxing Day. Giving and receiving presents with loved ones brings joy, but it can also be expensive. How do you give gifts without breaking the bank? Well, handmade gifts could be a great alternative; they are personalized and inexpensive. You could also repurpose items you no longer use or promise to offer someone a service instead of buying them a gift. Finally, if you still would like to buy a gift, go for one that will give you value for the amount you will spend. For instance, instead of buying your child a pair of shoes that will wear out, open a money market fund account for them and let that investment grow.
Find cheap activities
The festive season is all about making merry and having a good time with the people you love. Businesses know this, and this month, there will be no end to ads and special offers trying to lure you to visit them and spend your time (and money) there. If you are smart, you will learn to avoid them, in favour of cheaper alternatives. Have a picnic instead of eating out. Buy food and drinks wholesale instead of from a retailer. Have a movie night at home instead of buying movie theatre tickets for everyone. You will be surprised how much you will save cumulatively.
Make travel arrangements early
Along with having a feast and celebrating, most people enjoy going to interesting places during the holidays. Whether it is a vacation to an exotic location or a visit upcountry, planning early will allow you to actually sit back and enjoy your trip. More importantly, it rescues you from unforeseen expenditure because as we all know, fares and accommodation charges skyrocket during the holidays. Poor planning could be the difference between a relaxed, rejuvenating holiday and a stressful one where you get overcharged.
The best way to avoid post-December stress is to develop a financially mindful strategy. It is possible to enjoy yourself this festive season without denting your finances. However you choose to celebrate, make it a priority to develop an effective budget plan as a way of mitigating the risks associated with overspending.
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