FINANCIAL TIPS: ‘TIS THE SEASON TO SAVE

The December holiday season is a tempting time to spend more. From Christmas gifts to summer holiday plans, there does seem to be more expenses over the holiday season. This doesn’t mean that your December spending should land you in debt though. It is still possible to enjoy the season on a budget without becoming Scrooge.

Season’s spending tips

The most essential financial advice for any circumstance is to budget accordingly. Even with your Christmas bonus or thirteenth pay check, if you don’t have a proper holiday budget, you can quickly spend more than you can afford. Make sure you plan how much you want to spend of each aspect of the holiday season, from gifts, parties, travel, accommodating extra family members or other special events to the usual daily expenses like meals, utilities and petrol. Your budget should not exceed how much you are able and willing to spend. Furthermore, your budget should make allowance for any unexpected or emergency expenses too. A budget is important to prevent overspending, but many people worry that holiday season spending is still too expensive, even if they stick to their budget. There are several ways to cut down on expenses during the holidays. One tip to consider is that many service providers, like restaurants, hotels and event hosting companies, will charge a premium during the holiday season. You can avoid these inflated prices by dining or visiting smaller local venues instead.

DIY this season

Have you considered the affordability offered in doing it yourself? Instead of eating out at a fancy restaurant on Boxing Day, why not put together a feast at home for your loved ones? Picnic in the park or braai on the stoep to save costs and create even better memories. Gifts can also be DIYed. You don’t need to be adept at arts and crafts to create a thoughtful and special gift. You can also save costs by recycling wrapping paper, Christmas decorations and other seasonal items. How are you planning to save money this season? Contact One Debt for more holiday saving tips.