Festive seasons are exciting times, but they could end up leaving your finances unprepared for what comes after. With all the holiday discounts, gift-giving, and social events taking place during this period, it can be difficult to keep track of your expenses. This is why it is important to have a money management plan before the festivities begin. Here are a few ways to make sure you don’t go into the new year with an empty account:
1. Create a budget:
This budget should factor in all possible expenses within this period. If you are going to be giving gifts to loved ones or taking yourself out, set a spending limit for your expenses. Remember to factor in hidden costs such as gift wrappers, transportation, cards, decoration and lights, new clothes, etc.
2. Change your perspective:
It is easy to get distracted from the purpose of gift-giving. This is why you should be honest about your motives during the festive season. Buying gifts to impress others is a common mistake people make. If not checked, you could end up destroying the savings you took so long to build. When you put yourself under the pressure of other people’s expectations, you end up running out of money very quickly.
3. Set real expectations:
If you had a very expensive treat during your last holiday and you realize that you’re not financially capable of making such an expensive financial decision this year, accepting your current financial condition and working within your current budget will be vital in keeping you in a better financial position for the coming year. Find ways to make your holiday memorable while sticking to your budget.
4. Find the best deals on your purchases
One of the perks of the festive season is the mouthwatering discounts and promotions that it comes with. Look for the best deals on items you intend to purchase. The money saved could either go back to your savings or be used for unaccounted expenses. Be careful not to use the discounted rates as an excuse to indulge in impulse buying.
5. Create personalized gifts
You do not necessarily need to buy all the items you would be gifting your loved ones. You could bake a cake, or make personalized cards for close friends and loved ones. You would be surprised how much they may appreciate such thoughtful gifts when they receive them. This could, in addition to saving you money, strengthen your relationship with your loved ones.
6. Give the gift of your time
While looking to get the perfect gift for your parents and loved ones, you may likely miss the one gift that may provide the most value to them – your time. Quality time spent with the people that matter most to us may turn out to be more fulfilling for them than any gift could have been.