News - You can survive the holidays without bre...
You can survive the holidays without breaking the bank
2022 is coming to an end. The year-end fatigue has set in and the countdown to the holidays has begun. Another element that comes with the end of the year is 13th-month bonuses and stokvel dividends for those of us who are members of one.
The year has had many ups and downs and the post-pandemic recovery is still being felt - On-going interest rate hikes, increases in food and petrol prices, the varying stages of loadshedding plus water shedding and, and. Many of us have been counting down to this period and making plans because Ke’December. But before we go out and live large, let’s remember we still need to survive the 18 468 days of January.
In line with our #SisonkeInSavings campaign launched in August, building a savings culture for all South Africans must live beyond Savings Month, start with any small amount and build momentum. To help you survive the festive season without breaking the bank, we’ve put together a few tips to help you splurge, while keeping some savings in the bank to get you through the financial strain of the new year.
Set a spending limit
Family and friend get-togethers, outings with the kids, Christmas gifts, and New Year’s celebrations can all add up if we don’t track how much we spend. Before you say yaaaassss to every invitation, consider your monthly debits and obligations. In line with having all South Africans start stronger in the new year, it’s important to remember the January obligations - new school uniforms and stationery packs to buy? Back-to-work transport money? Decide upfront how much you need to put aside for these commitments, then put it in a separate bank account away from the temptation to spend it.
Decide whether you’re buying for a set number of people – for example, only children under 21. Or if you’ll do a gift exchange so that everyone draws a name out of a hat and buys for the person they drew. You could also consider establishing a price range or a price total, so you don’t have one person receive a lovely new scented candle while another person receives a fancy designer jacket. Whatever you decide, set a budget in advance, establish expectations, and stick to it.
Christmas lunch or New Year's Eve party
For budget and sanity, consider a pot-luck style if you’re hosting Christmas or New Year's lunch. Let everyone know how many people will be celebrating and assign people to bring a dish. Keep cooking ability in mind. Even a non-cook can bring a dessert or beverage. Keep an eye out for specials in the weeks leading up to the holidays. And remember to make and stick to your shopping list. Stores are hoping that once you’re in the shop for the bargains, you’ll buy lots of other stuff too.
Whatever you end up doing, avoid the impulse to spend unchecked. You’ve worked hard all year, you deserve to enjoy your holidays without getting into unnecessary debt. If you need an extra hand, our easy budget tool can help.