If you celebrate Christmas, and have little ones to spoil – you are probably a little worried about already spending too much of your end-of-year bonus or savings. Here are a few tips from Mr Mia on how to celebrate and be financially savvy at the same time.
Last-minute shopping, going back and forth to the grocery store for food items for your lunch and dinner menus and shelling out on that must have Hatchimal toy for your little girl or new Hot Wheels for your son, spending a little too much of our end-of-year bonus can happen in an instant. Sometimes the thought of our budget flashes into our minds, but we shrug it off with a ‘buy now, worry later!’ attitude. Wrong move!
Here are 7 affordable tips for Christmas that, little by little, will help you save, so that the December holidays do not break the bank and you can enjoy spending time with your loved ones without worrying about how much you have overspent.
- WRAP IT UP
It sounds like something our grandma’s used to do, but re-using wrapping paper really does save in the long run. So unwrap your presents carefully and don’t throw away those gift bags and ribbons – keep it all neatly stored and when the next birthday or Christmas comes up, you will already be sorted, minus the bill.
- KEEP ALL GIFTS YOU BUY A SECRET – NO SLIP UPS
As much as gift giving can be a joy, it can also cause a lot of stress, especially if you have told people what you want to buy them and then it doesn’t go to plan and both you and them are left disappointed.
You might want to consider playing ‘Secret Santa’ where each person in your family circle who will be celebrating Christmas together draws a name from a hat – and then is tasked with (secretly) buying a gift for that one person. One of the rules should also be to set a budget for this gift, whether it be R150 or R300.
- DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP
If you are hosting a family dinner or lunch in your home, don’t get caught up with wanting to impress your guests by playing the perfect hostess – ask certain people to bring dishes or drinks. You would be surprised by how many people love to get involved.
- SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS AT HOME
Spending time with your family and friends at home – watching movies, playing board games, watching sport, hosting braais – will spare your wallet from those extra fuel and entertainment expenses.
- CLAIM BACK YOUR CASH
Now is the time to claim back those loyalty points that you have been saving up the whole year, whether it is from a supermarket or a retail store. You might be surprised at how many points you have accumulated, which when translated to rands, can save you hundreds in the terror of extra expenses.
- GO EASY ON THE CREDIT
When you go Christmas shopping, consider leaving your credit card at home and taking your debit card or cash with you instead. This will help you to avoid spending money that you don’t have, and you won’t be blindsided by a high credit card bill in the new year.
- HELP OUT A CHARITY OR DO SOMETHING FOR YOUR COMMUNITY
If you don’t all want to give tons of gifts this year, or receive lots of gifts – try giving back to those who don’t have any. Some great ideas for charity during the holidays could include Toy drives, Volunteer work, Baking treats for neighbors, Assembling care packages for shelters, and hospitals, serving meals at your local shelter or soup kitchen.
You can even donate a small amount in a family members name to a charity that they are passionate about.
Whatever you do this festive season, remember that the real meaning of it all is Family and Love. No money can replace that and it will always be your greatest investment.
Happy Holidays to all who celebrate!