“The festive season is here, and you might feel the pressure to splurge on jolly goodies and once-in-a-lifetime deals. However, it’s time to embrace a money-mindful approach by saying ‘no’ to festive FOMO (fear of missing out) and ‘yes’ to invaluable experiences so that you pave the way for a worry-free January.”
This is the advice of Wikus Olivier, managing director at CreditSmart Financial Services.
In this pursuit of a more mindful and financially sound holiday season, he offers these five frugal Christmas tips to help ensure yourself a Janu-NO-Worry:
Know your current money position and what your allocated spending amount for the December/Christmas period is. This includes the money that you can spend on gifts, celebrations, and things like travel expenses, among others. Keep track of your spending and make use of an envelope or cash-only system to avoid racking up a big credit card balance. Don’t forget to also make use of some of the savings you have gathered via your reward programmes as this can lower your overall spending amount.
Gifts and spoils
Reduce your number of Christmas gift buys this year and think thoughtfully what you want to get or create. Home-made gifts are thrifty and special. You can also encourage the family to take on a Secret Santa initiative (pulling a name out of a hat and spoiling one person within the spending limit). Or, what about sticking to a new “gifts for kids only” rule instead? Don’t stress or stretch your pocket to impress, it will only give you the Janu-beyond-worries.
Affordable meal considerations
Sharing is caring when it comes to special Christmas events and meals. Why not plan properly (snack or meal type) and consider hosting a pot luck? Ask friends and family members to bring their favourite dish, side or dessert to the celebration occasion.
Home-made decorations and table settings
No store-bought product can exceed the creativity or uniqueness of your do-it-yourself aka home-made Christmas décor and table decorations. Think of a Christmas-related theme (or let the kids choose) and bring countless frugal and fun options to the table.
The real reason for the seaon focus
Stick to your needs and not material wants this Christmas period. And if you want to spend something, spend time with your loved ones. Joy is found in experiences. No happy-go-lucky shopping outing and super expensive activities can replace the precious sit-down with friends or family and creating memories that will last you a lifetime.
After the festivities wind down, you don’t want to be left with an empty wallet and regrets. Stick to your Christmas budget, unique gift or decorations approach and focus on what truly matters. It’s all about keeping it real – spending quality time with those dearest to you. A money-mindful method to celebrating December will allow you to start your 2024 year on a high note.