It’s the time of the year again. “Detty December” is a global month of fanfare, family visits , laughter, enjoyment, concerts, and lots of holidays. The reasons are not so far-fetched. This is the month when children expect to enjoy themselves most, meet extended families, go on adventures, try out new things, and so on. In the month of December alone, we have Boxing Day, Christmas Day, and the ultimate transition into the new year – End of the Year Day.
As much as you must enjoy yourself during these holidays, it is extremely important that you spend money wisely.
These holidays are so close that most corporations even decide to declare the entire second half of the month a long holiday. Not only that, most corporate organisations in Nigeria (and all over the world) also endeavour to pay employees’ salaries earlier than they would normally do.
This article is going to look at the many things that people, especially the mid-level salary-earning, can do differently to come out financially better in January. This is very important in maintaining balance in the next financial year.
Tips To Spend Money Wisely During Christmas And New Year Holidays
Here are 10 tips for you to spend wisely during the Christmas and New Year holidays so that your finances don’t hit the rock as a result of the ‘December Spending’. Have you been asking yourself ‘how should I spend my money during these Christmas and new year holidays?’ Well, here you have it.
This is one important advice you must heed if you have to maintain your financial stability after a major holiday such as Christmas and the new year.
In this special season, everyone everywhere is trying to get the same commodities as you e.g tickets to disney, Christmas trees, decorative lights, raw foods, trendy clothes, and so on. This creates a spike in demand and automatically, even the prices of cheapest things go up.
The best way to get this bottleneck out of the way is to actually set out to get what you need 3-4 weeks before everybody realizes that they want the same thing. Else, you will waste a lot of time and money trying to get all you need. This advice will make you spend wisely during this December.
That way, you get to buy as many as you wish and at a fair price.
Opt for Gift Cards
Here’s one nice way to control your spending limit this holiday. Trying to get your family and friends their special gifts during the Christmas season can be extremely tasking and expensive. Imagine having to go from store to store looking for that unicorn-shaped electric kettle for your distant aunties. Sounds like stress right?
Save yourself all the stress and monetize the gift in a card. A gift card is a type of cash card that can be used to make purchases at retail stores, gas stations, restaurants, gyms, and so on.
To get this, simply walk into a popular retail store of your choice and request for a gift card. Once you get issued the gift card, load the card with the amount of money you would have used to get a real gift for the person. Afterwards, simply present the card to the person to go get whatever they wish to get at any of the accepted locations. This advice will make you spend wisely during this December.
A good example of this type of card is the UBA Prepaid Card.
Make a Budget
This cannot be overemphasized. A budget is an estimate of your expense for a set period of time.
In this case, from the beginning of December, draw a small sheet of paper and pen down ALL the items you will need for the upcoming season. Make this list in clear view of your income for the period and how much you’d be willing to spend as well. Once this is done, make a commitment never to go beyond this set budget, come rain come shine.
It is difficult to stick to budgets at times but I’d give you a trick quote to overcome the temptations each time they come “always think about the Long January”.
Lock your savings
For those who have been saving diligently for a cause, it is definitely not wise to toil so much and for so long to set money aside only to spend it over just two weeks.
Once the Christmas/new year is approaching, my advice is that you lock your savings from withdrawals. For people who use savings apps like PiggyVest, Cowrywise, and so on, punch the ‘lock-in’ feature on your app and stop thinking about it for the moment. Spend only from what is left.
You will come back to appreciate this advice come January.
Track your spending
After making your budget, you mustn’t go to sleep. Truth is, the prices of commodities during the Christmas/new year time will go up. This is why you must keep an eye on the money as it goes, let your miscellaneous take care of the possible hike in prices.
If possible, enter all your expenses into a small ledger. Just to keep track of the money as it goes. Have you been asking yourself ‘how should I spend my money during Christmas and new year holidays?’ Well, here’s another good way. It’s how best to spend money this Christmas/new year.
Avoid Unnecessary Mall Visits
The Christmas/new year season is not the time to casually stroll into a random mall. Whether you are alone or in company of friends, make sure you avoid visiting the shopping malls during the Christmas/new year period. This advice will make you spend wisely during this December.
Frankly, no amount of discipline will keep you safe from grabbing one or two items from a mall once you visit. Malls are set up to entice you with the items being displayed, lure you in, and make you make hasty decisions to buy items you didn’t think you need.
Your best bet still remains abstinence.
Observe Social DIstancing
This sounds cliche, but it’s also good advice. We are still in the middle of a pandemic.
You may have a few friends or family trying to come over to your place during the Christmas/new year period but remember the health hazards they all have to go through trying to visit you. Not even mentioning all the insecurity that becomes prevalent during this period.
Politely turn down unnecessary family or friends’ visits, you may even follow it up with a small gist if possible.
Coronavirus is real (lol).
Donate to Charity
Personally, I find peace and fulfilment from regularly donating my resources to people who cannot repay me.
If you have limited resources during the Christmas/new year period and you feel you aren’t able to do much, give it to charity. While giving your token to the needy, make sure to capture their smiles in your mind. The feeling of fulfilment that comes after this kind gesture is always soothing, and there’s sure an ultimate reward for good deeds too. Win win.
Giving is always a worthwhile effort, try it.
Choose Fun over Creating Impressions
In your activities during this Christmas/new year season, choose fun over what the other person thinks always. Most times, it is cheaper to engage in wholesome activities that give you a lot of fun than it is to engage in activities that only actually make it seem like you’re having fun.
The fun you get by visiting a beach in Lagos to play beach volleyball with strangers cannot be toppled by throwing an expensive party, ever. Spa days are awesome too, though. Truth is, most activities that involve incredible amounts of money to be in are not worth all the hype, in the end.
You’ve worked all year but now you just want to play, and that’s perfectly OK. Just avoid going to places that will make you spend out of budget to impress anyone this season.
List all your Bills
Here’s one great way to prevent overspending during holidays or anytime. Keep a record of all the bills that will be due around the Christmas/new year period and make sure you create a budget for this. Your bills are very important, and most times we may not be able to live properly if there’s an issue with a utility bill payment. This advice will make you spend wisely during this December.
Don’t let your bills clash with your detty December plans. Make separate plans for them and provide funding for each.
Prioritize Needs over Wants
During the festive Christmas/new year period, you will see traders applying a lot of marketing strategies just to woo you to buy what they sell. You are most likely to find them all up in your face with different dodgy promos too.
Remain resolute in separating exactly what you need to buy from what you wish/want to have. This advice will make you spend wisely during this December.
You don’t have to be a financial expert to determine how you should spend your money, you just need to exercise a lot of discipline and creativity. If possible, enter all your expenses into a small ledger. Just to keep track of the money as it goes. Have you been asking yourself ‘how should I spend my money during Christmas and new year holidays?’ Well, this advice up here will make you spend wisely during this December/new year.
As much as you must enjoy yourself in this Christmas and new year holidays, try your best to be conservative with your spending as well. Spending money wisely has a lot of benefits in the short run, as well as in the long run.