The festive time is all about giving and spending, which can be quite strenuous on your wallet if you’re already strapped for cash.
Before you start getting in the festive spirit, you might want to slow down and get your ducks in a row. It’s important to set a budget and stick to it to help you get through the festive season stress-free.
Here are a couple of tips to help you set your budget and stick to it while enjoying the festivities.
Create a Basic Budget
Before you go out and spend any cash, you need to figure out how much you can afford to spend. Check how much is left after all deductions are made and go from there. Keep in mind that the amount you can spend should factor in all costs that come with the festive season, including holiday get-togethers, trips, gifts, activities, etc.
Make sure your budget also has some extra for unexpected expenses that you can’t necessarily think of at the moment. Often, we get over-excited and don’t think of everything in the moment. So be sure to cover your bases by having a miscellaneous fund in the basic budget.
Opt for Cash
When shopping with a card, it’s easy to swipe and lose sight of how much you’re spending. When you’re paying with cash, you’re more aware of how much funds leave your hands. Draw cash and try only to use cash for your activities and spending to remain mindful of how much you are spending.
It can be tempting to just switch over to a debit/credit card once your cash is depleted, so make sure you leave your cards at home. The idea is to stick to your budget. Don’t give in to temptation, no matter how alluring the temptations of the festivities seem to be.
Track Your Spending in Your Budget
It doesn’t matter what your current financial position is, it’s human to lose track of how much you’re spending weekly. You may want to start keeping track of your spending, whether it’s by carrying around a notebook, downloading an app or updating a spreadsheet to check your balance in real time.
Tracking your spending will also give you a good idea of where you can cut down on unnecessary items on expenses in the future. In general, it’s a good habit to implement.
Shop with a List
A good idea in terms of budgeting and avoiding temptation would be to make a list of all the things you need before you head to the shops. Then take the list with you and shop only the things on the list. Lists are useful for budgeting and minimising time spent in stores. You don’t have to create your list in one go.
Eat at Home
Going out to a fancy restaurant or getting takeaways is nice, but it can weigh heavily on your wallet. Even if you decide to go out for the day to partake in holiday activities, make it a point to have breakfast at home, pack snacks for throughout the day and then have your dinner when you return later in the evening. Avoid spending unnecessary amounts on food when possible.
What Does Debtline Do?
Debtline is a Debt Management company that assists South Africans in getting debt-free. We offer access to NCR-registered debt counsellors who can provide you with expert advice, assist in debt repayments and offer protection as you undergo Debt Review.
If you require any of these services, you can get in contact with Debtline by filling in your details on the contact form via the website to request a free callback.