During the festive season things change; your mood, your productivity, your schedule. You can easily spend the whole day in pajamas or binge watching a series. We not only go into relaxation mode, we also go into spending mode. The holiday spending during this festive period is predicted to be $910 billion globally, that should tell you how easily money leaves the pocket at such times. Here are some pointers to help you manage your spending so that you can enjoy your holiday and new year with little to no stress:
Budget & stick to it
Budgeting is a tool that can be so freeing when well utilized and this also applies during holiday shopping. It’s one of the first steps of most financial decisions, so it’ll feature in a lot of our blogs.
This will give you an overview of how you spend during holidays, inform your limits (how much you can spend on gifts, charity, enjoyment), keep your financial goals in check and give you a stress free start to the year.
Avoid shopping sprees
With so much free time on your hands, you’ll be exposed to more advertising both on mainstream media and online. You could be tempted to go window shopping or to just idle-shop just because you have the time. In the internet age, you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home to buy anything or see what’s out there. I can’t count how many random things I’ve bought or saved on my list because I was scrolling on Instagram and saw a random influencer vouch for it. Avoid temptation and stay focused, if you’d notice something you’d want later, add it to your wish list and plan to get it some other time.
Right from November there are lots of sales (Black Friday) that stream all the way till the end of December. A lot of shops conduct these sales because they’re trying to reduce dead stock as they restock for the next year. They also know that people spend more during this time of year. As a consumer, you’re likely to notice that some sale items are just the same price as they were before with very few shillings discounted or these items have stayed on the shelf for a while.
No matter how big the discount is, you're not saving if you're buying something you didn't intend to in the first place. Shop sales for items that you actually wanted.
Save money that's gifted to you
Your relatives abroad could have sent you money as a gift or your uncle could have given you “something small” during a gathering, save it. We often process free money as money we didn’t have anyway so we spend it anyhow but this is an even bigger reason to just keep it! You didn’t have it before, so it wasn’t in your plan. Keep it aside until you have one, it might really come in handy.
Cost share on gifts and trips
When I was in uni , there was a fast food joint that sold fries for KES 70 ($0.7 USD) and would serve large, large portions. I didn’t eat much then and I didn’t have much money either so my friend and I would split that bill 50-50 and have enough for soda. It served us both, we both saved money, had some to buy something extra and didn’t mind sharing. This applies to gifts and travel. Find people who you like with common interests, make sure you don’t mind sharing with them, split bills half way and you’ll have some money to spare on other things. During trips bills like accommodation, ingredients for food and transport can be split and if you’d like to give your parents a gift, try and gather your siblings and see if they’d like to chip in.
Our course Your Roadmap to Wealth will teach you wealth management principles so that managing your money and working towards your financial goals becomes seamless any time of the year. Click here to learn more: https://africaspocket.com/course/your-roadmap-to-wealth