Christmas bells are ringing, and I’m sure, like me, you are busy making plans to celebrate with family and friends.
However, the holiday season tends to bring a lot of extra spending and trying to balance celebrating with your budget can feel challenging. But with a little planning and discipline, you can definitely have a memorable Christmas without going into debt in the new year. Here are some top tips for spending smart this holiday season:
1.Start a Christmas Budget: The first step is deciding exactly how much you can reasonably afford to spend on Christmas this year. Take your regular monthly expenses like rent and utilities, and add estimated costs for food, gifts and extra activities. Setting a clear budget will help curb impulse spending and keep you from going overboard.
2. Compare Prices Online: Nowadays, it’s so easy to research prices online from the comfort of your phone. Take time to look around on different websites and in various stores to find the best deals. You’d be surprised how prices can vary, even for the same items. Check for sales and discounts that can lower your overall total.
3. Make Gift Lists: When shopping for friends and family, having lists ready will keep you focused only on people you need to buy for. It’s tempting to pick up extras if you walk into a store unprepared. Your lists should also include gift ideas at different prices. This way, you can choose appropriately based on your relationship and budget for each person.
4. Prioritize Experiences Over Things: Some of my favourite gifts to give during Christmas are ones created with memories in mind rather than just physical items. Things like tickets to a concert or cinema make for truly thoughtful presents that people will enjoy for a long time. They’re also usually affordable compared to buying lots of stuff.
5. Be Price-Conscious When Entertaining: From traditional Jollof rice to suya, Nigerian Christmas spreads are known to be richly abundant. However, planning cheaper do-at-home options versus eating out every day can reduce costs significantly. Ask family & friends to bring side dishes and choose budget-friendly proteins like chicken or fish over pricey cuts of goat meat or turkey. This also applies to the kind of drinks you get.
6. Start A Christmas Savings Account: For future holiday seasons, start small monthly deposits into a separate Christmas savings account throughout the year. Even as little as 5,000 naira every month can really add up by December. It removes the pressure to overspend or go into debt when the holidays arrive since your funds are already set aside for celebrating.
Follow @hervestng across all social channels for more financial literacy tips. Also, download the HerVest app today and start saving and investing towards your goals.