Five festive season spending mistakes to avoid

Spend wisely this festive season. There’s January coming up.

It is not like Christmas or the festive season comes as a surprise – we know it happens every year. Yet time and again we get ourselves into financial trouble by overspending in December and scraping by in January until the next pay cheque arrives.

It shouldn’t be this way particularly because Christmas and the amount of money you dedicate to it can be planned.

Here are tips on the typical mistakes we make around this time and how to avoid them:

Don’t shop at the last minute: Every time you enter a store without a list or a plan the chances are high that you will spend more than you intend to. Make sure you have a list and stick to it because with all the lights, specials
and pesky store attendants there’s a danger you will buy more than just the basics.
Rationalising unnecessary purchases: Whether we like it or not, we are swayed by marketing and price promotions. We can’t resist a good bargain! But did you really have to get those chips or were you just influenced by the ‘buy one, get one free’ deal?

Not sticking to your budget: If you are not prepared to tally up all the costs that you will have to meet during the festive season your spending could soon spiral out of control. How many guests are you accommodating and feeding? How many presents are you buying? Draw a budget, and stick to it.

Not setting boundaries for Christmas presents: Have you talked to your friends and family and agreed on a set amount to spend on Christmas presents? If you haven’t it is best to establish the spending boundaries now and find out what the expectations are.

Not knowing your travel limitations and costs: Whether you are travelling upcountry or out of country, do some research on the best available fares in advance and try to lock down those deals by booking your ticket(s) early. Go for the cheapest and safest option if you are on a tight budget.