The silly season comes with a history of enthusiasm and anticipation and these festivities are notorious for the toll they take on many consumers’ bank balances. DATC (Durban Accountants and Tax Consultants) have therefore decided to provide you with some top tips for spending this festive season so that you don’t end up with a serious headache in January 2015! We all want to kick off the New Year with a fresh start and certainly don’t want to start 2015 off with any financial strains! Consider our list of 5 tips for Christmas spending…
The first step is to compile a list of the people you need to buy gifts for before entering any stores! Making a list of who you are going to shop for will help you avoid impulse buying.
If you have made your list and still feel like your budget is a bit tight, there is a good chance your friends and family are feeling the same! Perhaps suggest doing “Secret Santa” this year, this way, everyone saves money by only buying one gift.
Set a budget for each gift you intend on buying. Allocate an estimated amount (or the actual amount if you find it online or priced the item earlier in the year) to each person on your list and do your best not to go over your budget. Don’t forget the wrapping paper or box, tissue paper and card/gift tag (these all add up so it might be worth buying in bulk to save!). You will need to set a budget for all the meals or parties you intend on hosting too – don’t be afraid to ask your guests to bring a salad or the alcohol of their choice. *While you’re at it with budgets for the festive season, you might as well make a start with your 2015 budget too. Planning is key if you want to be prepared and organised for the year ahead. A properly planned budget can help you to plan for future holidays, savings and unexpected expenses.
Avoid using your credit card this festive season! – We all know that it is so much easier to spend money when you cannot physically see it being removed from your wallet or purse. If you have to swipe your card ensure that you pay the amount off as soon as possible (preferably within 3 months) as to avoid high interest charges.
Irrespective of whether you and your family are going away this festive season…be sure to plan accordingly because you will need extra cash for all the time out of the office this December and January.
We hope that our five tips for this festive season help you to be more organised and budget conscious. It is very important to learn how to have fun with the money available to you rather than to spend money you have yet to make. Lastly…Don’t feel too much pressure to spend money on gifts this season – remember what Christmas is really about and enjoy the time off with family and friends!