Quote of the Week: "Oh, for the good old days when people would stop Christmas shopping when they ran out of money."~ Author unknown
Christmas shopping, We all love it but sometimes also end up feeling wasteful about it. With almost everything on sale we tend to “overbuy” if there is such a thing. Christmas shopping is what usually leaves folks broke in January. How then do you navigate through this period responsibly without losing the joy of Christmas?
1. Good Old Budgeting
There is no sound personal finance advice that does not contain a budget. A budget keeps you on the straight and narrow. If you make a budget now, you will know straight away if your plans are over-ambitious or practical.
A budget will help you spot bad spending habits early before they get out of hand, giving you a chance to correct them early. The alternative is going into the festive season without one and then falling deep into debt in January to meet basic expenses! When planning for Christmas, keep an eye on January. The January rent is far more important than a lot of shopping often of non-essential things.
Do not be too rigid with your budget though. It is Christmas, you are allowed to loosen up. As long as January bills are sorted, have a good time guilt-free. However, as much as the budget is not cast in stone, follow it as much as you can or better yet, add miscellaneous expenses to the budget.
2. Shopping List
Once you have a budget, work on the shopping list. It will help you avoid unnecessary purchases. Christmas sales offers can be very tempting and you might forget what you came for in the first place. It also helps you get everything you actually need.
3. Look for Offers
Look for Christmas deals and take advantage. They will be many and some of them are very good. Still, remember that some unscrupulous traders have mastered the art of playing with consumer psychology. Not everything that screams “OFFER WHILE STOCKS LAST” is a good deal. Cross check prices with multiple sellers to confirm their claims. An opportunity to save during the festive season should not be missed. Speaking of saving…
4. Save For January
The only way to ensure that January won’t catch you off-guard is to set aside money for those expenses now! A safe, liquid, interest-earning savings plan is the way to go. Your money should earn interest at a competitive rate and you should be able to access it when you need it without any hustle or fuss.
Conclusion: You are allowed to enjoy the festive season after a long year of toiling, and it is possible to do so and still meet all your January financial obligations.