The festive season is upon us, which means you are probably already budgeting with your 13thcheque or your performance bonus. The fact is though that the majority of these funds will go towards shopping and buying all those festive treats, gifts and more. You may find that you are finally able to afford those items that you have had your eye on all year long.
However, you should actually want a portion of this extra cash to be saved and you definitely should do this as having a small cushion in the New Year will help to relieve extra pressures that come after Christmas like school fees and other such things.
There is nothing wrong with spending money over the festive season, but with the summer holidays and the festive atmosphere, we do have a tendency to get carried away. You then need to become a savvy shopper over the festive season so that you don’t end up overspending and in a world of debt.
Here are some savvy shopping tips that you can use over the holidays.
Smart Festive Shopping
The first thing that you need to do is to create a budget for the season and create a list of the things that you need. You will need to stick to this list, which should include gifts, drinks, food, any travel, socialising, decorations and so on. The budget that you have should be divided between these items and you will need to make it work and stick to it.
The next thing that you should try and avoid is last minute shopping. If you are able to, you should try and buy ahead of time as this will make sure that you are not left with limited options. Buying ahead of time can help you to avoid panic buying and also spending more than what you can actually afford.
Another good idea is to buy your groceries and food in bulk over this time. You will find that a number of supermarkets will be offering discounts on their prices, so you will definitely be able to find some great deals.
Keep reading for more savvy tips when you are shopping this Christmas…
The one thing that you need to avoid over the festive season is spending pressure. This can come from your children and your family, which can result in you spending more than what you can afford. You need to set expectations beforehand and ensure you don’t fall prey to these pressures. You know what you can afford and you have a plan in place with your list and budget, so stick to it.
The best time for you to cash in on any loyalty points, discount coupons or anything similar is during the festive season. If you earn points, for instance, with your bank and have been saving them throughout the year, then this is the best time to spend them. Also, look online for discount codes for online shops that you are going to use as these will also help you to save money.
If you decide that you will be using your credit card to buy all your festive items then you need to be disciplined, as overspending is a lot easier with a credit card. You also need to make sure that you are able to clear your credit balance in full in the New Year. This is because credit cards can be expensive when they carry a balance and store cards are even worse as they charge a higher interest rate. You need to make sure you can clear these in full and you have budgeted for this.
An option that you do have is to take a personal loan for the festive season, that is equal to the amount that you want to spend. These personal loans will have a lower interest rate than your credit card and the repayments terms are flexible. You should only take a loan if you can afford it and pay it back on time, preferably in the New Year.
If it is possible, you should avoid touching your rainy day savings over Christmas, as this will just put you back financially.
The festive season is about giving and seeing family and friends and even treating yourself to an item or a much needed break, but it doesn’t mean that you have to spend every last cent you have. You just need to be a savvy shopper, have a budget and stick to it. This will then give you a great financial standing for the New Year.