With Black Fridays offer here and there, Cyber Monday and the upcoming Yuletide season with all the attendant festivities, the possibility of overspending is very high. But if you don’t want to start the New Year, struggling to cope with the festive period debts, leaving you with the now-famous “January Blues”, you should consider some of the tips below to have a grand festive period but at a lesser cost that will not strain your finances.
Take your time
During the holiday season, there’s a sense of urgency to purchase items that are on sale. But don’t confuse snapping up a deal with acting on impulse. The workaround? Sleep on it.
Instead of making a buy immediately, make a note of the item you want to purchase, and then leave the store or keep it in your online shopping cart with a plan to return in 72 hours if the item is worth your while. Taking this extra time will eliminate the high that comes along with spending money and help you make clearer decisions about your purchases.
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Stick to a budget
Budgeting is the keyword to prevent overspending. Create a realistic holiday budget based on your income and total expenses. Use the budget to create a specific gift list and assign spending limits. By making a list of the things you “need” for the holiday period, and making it as flexible as possible, you will curb overspending. It’s too easy to deviate from a flexible plan compared to a rigid budget – especially when you are tempted by holiday sales. Don’t be lured by sales and offers for items that aren’t on your list.
Is it a must to travel?
It is a known fact that to travel from Lagos to Ikom, Cross River State, during the Yuletide is far more expensive than during other periods. Same as Lagos to Onitsha, Asaba, Yenagoa and other parts of the country. Aside from the increase in transport cost, there is security and safety challenges, as incidents of road crashes during the festive period are always high. Even when you safely get home, the propensity to play the “big boy or girl” is there, leaving you bankrupt to deal with the January Blues. So, again, is it a must you travel this Yuletide?
Track your spending
One key component to wise financial stewardship is to track your spending daily. This is true for life, but it is essential to avoid overspending during the holiday season. If you have set your budget thoughtfully, it is important to pursue due diligence in staying inside it.
Because of the extra shopping during the season, the importance of tracking your spending during December cannot be overstated. It can be accomplished with a simple piece of paper and pen. At the end of each day, just record the items you spent money on that day. And compare it regularly with the budget you created.
Avoiding overspending during the holiday season may not be easy. It certainly requires extra discipline.