December is here and if you have not prepared for this festive holiday, your financials are in for a bumpy ride. But, no need to worry – there is still a few weeks left to specify your budget amount and to try and save on the ‘last minute’ shopping outings.
Zeeva’s team shares a few practical tips to ensure that you and other procrastinators have an enjoyable, yet frugal proof holiday:
1. December holiday budget
It is a good idea to indicate your December holiday costs or the total sum on your December budget sheet. You can also make a separate December holiday list and print it out. Your home’s notice board or fridge door is always a good spot. This will make your spending amount visible to the family, as they will see how much money they are allowed to spend during the holiday. The list must include the total holiday amount (say R 6 000) as well as each family member’s estimated costs. Expenses such as entertainment, presents, travelling/fuel costs and food expenses should be specified on the list.
2. A savings jar sure comes in handy
Hopefully you have saved some loose coins already – you will be surprised what a few Rands can do. Continue to put a savings jar in a ‘high traffic spot’ in the house and get your family’s competitive streak going by challenging them to joining in on the activity. Starting a savings culture in your own home is not only exciting and fun, but also educational for years to come.
3. ‘Money behaviour’ is essential
Not everybody can afford to have lavish holidays or Christmases. But, this does not mean that you cannot enjoy your December break whether it will be mostly spent in your hometown or a few hours’ drive away. You just have to portray positive savings and ‘money behavioural patterns’ even if you feel merry this time of year.
4. Make use of sales
A December sale sure comes in handy. But, the item(s) that you want to add to your ‘last minute’ shopping cart should indeed be on ‘discount’ and should be something that you ‘need’ and not ‘want’. So compile shopping lists for essentials and remember: before you head into the sale, to prevent impulsive and excessive buying, ask yourself: “Do I really need this?”
5. It is fun to ‘share’
Sharing expenses is fun and money savvy. When you know you have to prepare for Christmas Day or other braais during the holiday, let the guests or family members join in by bringing their own drinks and meat. Sharing is caring, plus it’s fun too.
6. ‘Price-less’ activities for the kids (and adults)
December holidays do not have to consist of expensive movie or restaurant outings. What about making a homemade ‘movie theatre’ in the garden by using the projector and those old, unwanted bedding sheets? And what about playing card games, mini-cricket or lawn bowls – using items and equipment you already have available. The kids and adults can enjoy different types of activities in the comfort of your own home. This will not only give you peace of mind, but also avoid your pocket being ripped off (by fuel, entertainment and entrance costs).
Frugal proof your December holiday expenditures by sticking to your budget. Take the above tips into account to ensure yourself some fun, yet a thrifty December holiday. If there is no way for your budget to stay frugal proof, get in contact with Zeeva’s team. SMS your name and ZEEVA to 30967 (free of charge) for more info about their successful debt review program.