The December holiday season is a time when everyone is in a calm and celebratory mood.
With this comes a lot of spending.
January is the month when most people feel the impact of their holiday season decisions; increased stress, debts with no money to pay back and regret over money spent.
But it doesn’t always have to be so.
Here are 5 ways to go through this holiday season and begin 2023 in a better financial state than before.
1. Create a spending plan for the holiday.
Not setting a budget is one of the major mistakes most people make during the holiday season.
It’s easy to just estimate in your mind and say that you’ll use for example 100,000 this holiday.
Creating a simple spreadsheet will help you clearly write out what you intend to spend on and how much you will spend on the things/experiences.
Seeing everything summed up will help you in decision-making.
You also get a chance to plan for some impulse buying or indulging that may happen during the holiday as you write your budget.
Decide how much you want and can spend on food, travel, decorations, gifts etc.
Note: you’re making this plan after setting aside money for January bills, school fees and other needs.
2. Track your expenses over the holiday.
After you’ve created a budget of what you plan to spend on, you need to track all your expenses.
Or how else will you know that you’re sticking to your holiday budget?
You don’t have to be rigid with your spending, just ensure you stay within budget.
For instance, if you spend more on food than you had allocated, you can cut back on what you will spend on gifts.
It doesn’t have to be on a fancy software. A simple excel or Google sheet or even pen and paper will do. Just ensure you record your spending each day and keep comparing it with the budget you created.
3. Use cash.
We all love the convenience of mobile money or swiping a card.
The problem with this is that it would be more difficult to stay within budget especially if you haven’t separated your money into different accounts.
You may easily end up using the money you spared for January bills on holiday.
Withdrawing and having the cash in hand will keep you more aware of your spending.
4. Minimize your spending.
In these harsh economic times, you have to carefully choose what you will spend on.
Ask yourself the tough questions.
What can you forego this year to be able to afford another?
For instance, you can choose to forego a Christmas tree and its decorations and also the Christmas family pajamas and choose to experience a game drive over the holidays.
You can spare the money saved for some January bills.
5. Say NO
In this holiday season, something you should remember is that you have the power of choice.
You don’t have to go to all the events happening this December, you don’t have to go to all the parties you’re invited to, and you also don’t have to gift each and every person you know.
Take the pressure off yourself to do it all, especially if you know you did not plan for it.
If you can’t afford it, just politely say no.
January always seems to be so far when you’re out there enjoying your holiday.
The best thing about this holiday is that it always occurs at the same time each year, making it the easiest goal-based savings plan.
As you track your holiday spending this year, plan to open a savings account specifically for the 2023 December holidays.
Happy holidays everyone!