Moving from house to house, on the road or just taking a walk around residential areas, the aroma of fried chicken & sumptuous meal fills the atmosphere. Shopping malls are filled to the brim, car parks & airports are congested with travellers and in most parts of the country, the weather is cold & hazy. You can hear the sound of fireworks, see lovely designs & facelifts given to houses, shops, offices etc. You can literally year the sound of jingle bells as kids rave in excitement because – it is Christmas Season & the end of the year!
The end of the year is a time everyone felicitates with loved ones – family & friends. Many companies are closed for the year and the holiday begins. Some people travel to their respective villages, hometowns, family houses, while others host their loved ones as they celebrate together.
It is usually the time of the year where people spend a lot as they celebrate. However in the midst of this, many go overboard with spending such that it affects their finances, especially as they cross over into the New Year. When January comes, many are ‘broke’ and begin to feel financial pressures – remember January is usually a long month where salaries don’t come until the end of the month.
In this article, We’ll look at five effective ways to celebrate very well, yet stay within your financial budget so as to avoid unnecessary financial challenges and becoming broke in the New Year.
Give your debit or credit card and your mind a holiday by limiting what you buy to what can safely come out of your bank account. Create a budget on how much you want to spend and use it to decide how much money you can afford to spend.
Holiday budgeting is a way to set limits on your purchases and still enjoy the season. It can help to set up a budget and limits that you will stick to—without caving in and racking up the credit.
How much money is it worth spending on holidays? Should you set aside a certain amount?
In summary, decide how much you want to spend on entertainment, food, and all festive activities and stick to it. If this means you have to decline certain invites because you don’t have enough money, so be it.
It doesn’t have to be expensive to be quality. Have a budget for gifts and stick to it. If you are low on cash, look at DIY gifts on the internet and choose the one you can do. Try your best to limit impulse spending, because many people might show up impromptu or call you out of the blue to get their gifts from you.
If you want to present a large gift, you and your friends can contribute some amount to add up for the final cost. This way, you can share the expense of an expensive gift.
One of the worst mistakes you can do is to buy things you do not need or can’t afford just to impress your family and friends or peers. Using your money wisely means realising what is important and worth spending money on. Don’t make dramatic changes to your spending patterns during the festive season just because you want people to be impressed. Try to keep to your normal spending pattern.
Whether you are shopping online or in person, you will easily be swayed to buy more than what you had planned. This is because of the clever marketing, promotions, advertisements, skilful salespeople, etc. You can stay within the list and avoid crossing your budget limit if you have a list.
If you are shopping online, use browser extensions that automatically apply coupons to your orders. Shopping with a list would actually help you stay focused and disciplined around your budget.
As an adult especially if you are a parent, you should already know what expenses you will incur in January. Therefore, instead of waiting until January, plan for it way ahead. For example, uniforms, school supplies, school fees, etc.
When you know how much January expenses will cost you, take that amount and put it in a separate account. Don’t let it form part of your festive season spending Putting some money aside for school expenses, house rents, transportation etc, will give you some breathing room.
It is good to save some cash for any unexpected expenses.
Perfect time to use bonuses: Your bank might offer rewards, deals, coupons, and discounts. Many people don’t know what discounts or offers they have, and they fail to redeem them before it expires. Several people miss out on offers just because they didn’t use them on time. Keep checking your online banking portal and somehow redeem the rewards before it expires.