There are plenty of parties to go to and a seemingly endless number of gifts to buy, making the festive season one of the most difficult times to budget for. #StudentLife and inflexible purse strings are challenging at the best of times, so how do you get through the festive season without feeling the financial pinch for months thereafter? We’ve got some budgeting tips to help you.
Say no to impulse purchases
There are so many tools at our disposal nowadays (yes, pricecheck.co.za… we’re looking at you!) to help us make the best, most saving-savvy decisions when it comes to buying gifts for loved ones. Do your research before you buy, and you could wind up saving hundreds of rand as a result.
Know how much you can afford to spend
Take the time to sit down and work out how much extra cash you actually have on your hands. If you have an exact number to work with, you will be a lot less likely to over-spend.
For some reason, we have more difficulty parting with tangible cash at the till than we do swiping our cards. Studies have shown that you subconsciously spend less money when you pay for items with cash.
Make your own gifts
There is something special (and more affordable) about a thoughtful, home-made gift. If you’re good at baking, why not whip up some delicious Christmas cookies? Or knit your mom a beautiful scarf? Perhaps a mixed CD would be a lovely gift for bae? Get creative!
Do secret Santa
You’ll probably find that your student digz mates are just as worried about festive budgeting as you are! Why not suggest doing secret Santa to save a few bucks? Simply put all of your names in a hat and each take one. The person whose name you pick will be the only person for whom you have to buy a gift. Don’t forget to decide on a spending limit! You don’t want to buy a friend a pair of socks only to discover that he’s splurged on a shiny new iPhone for you (as if)!
As with most things financial, the key to festive budgeting is effective planning. ‘Tis the season to start saving. You’ll be very glad you did once January rolls around.