3 Ways to be wise with money this holiday season
The holiday season is well underway. Every storefront is decorated in ways so festive, the Grinch would melt. Everything seems to be so well priced that it is impossible to resist spending your hard earned bonuses and savings. How can you still be festive while saving money for the upcoming school year in a few weeks? Is it possible to have a good festive season with family while thinking about, and saving for, the year ahead?
- Think ahead
The thing with holiday spending is that, as early as Boxing Day, retailers will start pushing their back-to-school panic. As soon as all the precious outfits that everyone wore on the 25th are stained with oily food and crumpled up in the washing baskets, the focus will have to shift to the school year ahead. Avoid the panic and think ahead.
- Buy stationery, uniforms and other school-related paraphernalia before the 22nd of December. Better yet, buy all of these before you buy gifts.
- If you are receiving either a cash bonus or savings pay-out, consider putting bulk of the money aside for a goal you want to achieve in the new year instead of spending it all during the holidays.
- “Januworry,” as it is affectionately known, can be a long month. Set a budget right now and the funds for the month aside while you still have money to do so.
- Hack your debt
You may not be drowning in debt and have manageable repayments for whatever you owe, but consider paying a lump sum towards a big debt. This payment will not make you eligible to skip future instalments next year. You will still have to make a monthly repayment without fail until you have finished paying off the car or student loan or bond etc. However, the lump sum payment will put your account in good standing and bring the last day of repayment closer.
According to Property24 expert and property finance guru, Liz De Mink, making additional payments – over and above the instalment – monthly saves you money on interest.
- Hunt for bargains
A few weeks ago, South African retailers adopted the American shopping tradition of “Black Friday.” Everything from electronics to flights to clothing was sold at low prices. If you missed that sale heaven, don’t despair. There are still plenty of ways to be frugal while shopping for the festive season.
- Set yourself a gifting budget and stick to it
- Compare deals before you make a decision
- Do it yourself (DIY) because the thought is what counts in the end.
What do you spend the most on during the holiday season? What are you doing to cut back on spending? Please share.