The December holiday season often brings with it an increased financial burden. For South Africans that celebrate Christmas, there are gifts and family get-togethers that cost more. Many people take leave or get time off from work over this period, and many choose to go on holiday to visit other people and places. The end of the year also means planning for new expenses in the new year, whether it is a new job, a new house or increased rent, kids going off to high school or university, or just another petrol increase. Some people depend on their thirteenth pay check or Christmas bonus to cover the additional holiday expenses.
How to enjoy the holidays on a budget
Whatever your holiday plans, it can still be a time of relaxation and celebration. Financial stress doesn’t need to ruin the season if you practice a bit of financial responsibility. The first step is to create a holiday budget. Draw up a budget for every expense you anticipate for the holidays, and make sure you can afford it without affecting your regular monthly expenses. If your budget is higher than your financial means, the next step is to narrow it down to something more affordable. There are several ways to save money over the holidays. It is tempting to buy lavish gifts or cook up a feast for friends and family, but is it necessary? You can still show your love with more affordable options. Why not hand-make some of your gifts to save costs? Avoid expensive brand name items for both gifts and food. If you know you are receiving gifts, you can also request items that you need, like new clothing or kitchenware, so that you have one less expense to worry about.
Save money this holiday
If you have big holiday plans, you should be planning and saving for them in advance. There is no reason to spend so much over the holidays that you are left destitute in the new year. Make sure you plan your spending according to your budget, and always have a plan in place for the future. Contact One Debt for more holiday budget advice or debt management.