The end of the year is here. Just like it is a magical time of the year, it is also an expensive time. With all the expenses on food, decorations, gifts, clothing and just trying to keep up with all the celebrations, many end up getting broke at the end of the day. If you are trying to get out of debt or stay strictly on a budget, it can be really hard at this time. But you can still go all out and have all the fun this festive season without breaking the bank. Having a good ‘game plan’ and sticking to it is all you need to get through the season without getting broke at the end of the day.
Here are a few things you can do to keep your expenses in check this festive season.
Don’t fall for the store/mall temptation
Do you ever walk into a grocery store or a mall and realise all the many things you have to buy, only to get home and realise you do not need most of what you bought or that you bought them at a higher price than what is obtainable at the general market? We’ve all been here before. The mall has a tendency to suck you in. So, if you really need to do your shopping at the mall, go with a plan and purpose and stick to it. Otherwise, all the bright, shiny stuff will draw you in like a moth is drawn to a fire.
The season is also a time for travelling to beautiful destinations around the world or travelling to see family and friends. Nothing will make you go broke faster than buying plane tickets for every member of your family to travel. Plane tickets are usually a lot more expensive at this time, and so is lodging, food and car rentals. While it is good to travel to see loved ones, don’t put it over providing for your family and planning for the year ahead. If you need to see your loved ones, let them be the ones to come to where you live. That way, you are sure of saving lots of expenses.
Don’t splurge on expensive gifts
Keep your priorities in check during this season. Food, shelter, clothing is a lot more important than that expensive, latest edition of play station you are thinking of gifting your son. Do what you can, but don’t spend more than you have. Also, don’t feel guilty or obligated to give gift items to every member of the family. You can have a gift exchange instead. It is a game where every member of the family draws a name of a member of the family from a bowl. You are only responsible for the person whose name you have drawn. This is a great way to teach gift sharing and to save as well.
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Gift your time
You are expected to gift out things this time of the year, right? Are you stuck with a huge amount to spend after listing out a number of people you would give gifts to? How about trying to give your time as a gift instead. After all, it is not about the gift itself; it’s the gesture and thought that counts. Simple gestures like offering to teach your world-renown recipe to your neighbour, giving a piano lesson to a friend’s kid, or cleaning your loved one’s home are great ways you can gift your time without spending a dime.
Don’t get lost in the fun and excitement of the season, such that you blow through your budget. Have a plan in place and stick with it. After the festivities are over, you’ll be glad you adhered to this game plan.