What should be done differently this holiday

Tips on financial planning during the holiday.

By Ilke Akwenye.

Chartered Public Relations Practitioner (CPRP) PRISA,

Sanlam Manager: Marketing and Communications.

05 December 2016 – This festive season is going to be different, you’ll have a lot of time to relax, spend time with your family, do the little things you never have time for during the year and you won’t come back from your holiday with a lot of debt.

This is what the festive season should be about. After all, it has been a long year and you deserve the break. It is important to treat yourself at the end of the year but only if that means not allowing yourself, to get into debt. To avoid this, ensure that you have planned for your break including the expenses that come along with it.

Realize what you can and can not afford

Staying within your boundaries can easily be managed through a festive budget which, include your greatest projected expenses. These would include your travel expenses, accommodation, gifts and spending money. If you do not have enough funds to afford an item, cut down. Leisure activities such as travelling should be considered in terms of affordability. Factors that can be amended could be the duration of your vacation or sharing costs of accommodation as a family.

Be realistic with family and friends

Be realistic with your family and friends about expectations, be it gifts, trips, family dinner. The sooner you and those around understand your limitations, less pressure will be placed on you. Explain to them that over spending, does not mean having more fun. If you have not written every family members name on a piece of paper with an estimated cost, do it this year. So often, we are drawn into the sale signs and end up buying more than we budgeted for. Many times, we end up in debt, trying to buy expensive gifts for everyone.

Plan for January

Be cautious of your expenses in January, this may include school fees. Set it aside in December and ensure that it is prioritized. Be sure that there is money in your account for monthly debit orders. Once you have confirmed that deductions have been covered, treat your remaining amount as extra cash to spend on whatever you desire.

Invest your Bonus

Try to invest your bonus and not spend all of it for the sake of it. This is an amount that you would not have had, so save it for something valuable. Draft your long term wish list and calculate how much it would cost to save and eventually acquire.

In conclusion, take care and save as much as you can. We tend to not budget for the unexpected but let’s all be mindful of the “what ifs” and be safe rather than sorry.

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