How to Stay on Budget this Festive Season
The festive season is a notoriously bad time for sticking to budgets. We are a country built on the migrant labour system, which means most people are heading home where much will be expected of them moneywise. If you’re going back home this year, how can you stay within your budget this festive season? Here are five suggestions:
Set expectations with your immediate and extended family. When you are working away from home – and sometimes even when family is nearby and can see your struggles – it’s hard for them to understand your needs. Part of setting boundaries is to draw up a budget that will guide you and prevent you from overspending.
If you buy presents throughout the year for your loved ones, you won’t feel the pinch as much as when you buy everything at once. It also guarantees that prices aren’t hedged on the spending madness of the festive season. Buying gifts at your own pace allows you to opt for lay-by or having them specially made. Finally, bringing gifts for the people who are important in your life limits the amount of unplanned spending you’ll do over the festive season.
Does this scenario sound familiar: An aunt who isn’t really your family arrives and tells you that she raised you when you were a snotty-nosed rascal? She wants a present or a smallanyana package to help her have a good festive season. You are well within your rights to tell this person no.
Forget the Khumalos
There’s really no reason for you to be trying to keep up with neighbours and friends who are also probably doing what they are doing in a bid to keep up with you. Focus on meeting your own needs instead of being in a competition that has no rewards.
Put money away
If you doubt your self-control over the festive season, put money away as soon as you receive it. Most banks have 32-day notice saving accounts, making your money untouchable for over a month while #KeDizemba things are calling your name. Think of this 32-day account as a gift to yourself in the new year. Just imagine… surprise money in the middle of January, from you!
How do you spend within your budget during the festive season?