Budgeting do’s and don’ts this silly season

Top budget do's and don’ts for the silly season and the back-to-school rush, which is just around the corner.

African financial services group Ecsponent Limited advised that while it is best to plan for expenses such as holidays, special events and gift shopping, there are a few last-minute budgeting tips that can help ease the financial strain during the festive season.

They say it is very difficult to pay for festive season activities with December’s pay cheque alone. So while you may not have saved up as much as you would have liked to for this year, keep this in mind as a potential New Year’s resolution for January 1, 2024.

For now, however, they shared their top budget do’s and don’ts for the silly season and the back-to-school rush, which is just around the corner.

1. Don’t reach for your credit card

Tempting as it may be, borrowing money to pay for gifts and festive goodies comes with a hefty price tag of its own when you consider the interest and fees applied. If you do not have enough cash to buy a specific gift or treat, look for cheaper alternatives or try your hand at making those treats like cakes, biscuits and dinners yourself.

2. Do make plans that fit your budget

Instead of inviting all your friends and family around for a fully-catered meal – that is likely to cost you in the hundreds, if not thousands of rand – make plans that spread the costs more evenly, for example, picnics or a traditional South African “bring-and-braai”.

3. Don’t go on an untracked, no-limits spending spree when the sales hit

Many of us struggle when it comes to resisting a ‘good deal’. For this reason, I would definitely suggest staying away from shopping malls and online shopping websites when January sales go live. While you may save 50% on a pair of shoes you don’t need, you’ll save 100% if you just walk away. Spending recklessly when trying to stick to a budget can really set you back on reaching your financial goals.

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