It’s that season again and I can actually hear the imaginary Jingle bells ringing in my ears whenever I walk down the street and perceive the aroma of the expected merriment in the air that of course will usher us into the lovely season of Christmas.
Of course, with this season comes a lot of events to attend, parties to turn up for, family gatherings to attend, hangouts with friends and of course lots to eat and drink and also lots of gifts to give out.
As you are turning up, hanging out, throwing parties and giving out gifts this season, it is of the utmost importance that you remember that you have to also prepare for the New Year and be wise in your spending so you don’t end up broke and sad at the beginning of the year. Believe me, that is not a good way to begin the New Year.
The following tips will help you keep track of your spending this season and still ensure you have a great time even on a budget.
- Make a budget
Yes. Budgeting is the first step to your financial freedom. It may look stiff and limiting but it actually helps you stay disciplined and puts you in check when you are about to spend impulsively. Draw up a budget plan for your expenses this Christmas season. It should include all the events you are going for, parties you are organizing, hangouts you are sponsoring or paying for, clothes and shoes shopping, hair and beauty appointments, eat-outs, Christmas food shopping and gifts you are giving out. Include everything in your budget so you don’t end up wondering how your money suddenly got drained.
- Take advantage of sales offers and discounts coupons
While shopping for items like clothes, shoes, gifts etc. You can actually search for offers on sales or discounted items as this will definitely help you save up half of what you will have spent if you bought those items at their original prices. Of course, many business owners will be selling off goods and services at discounted prices this season as this has always been the norm to do so in order to create space for new goods in preparation for the New Year so it just makes things easier for you.
- Have Open Parties
When I say have open parties, in terms of your budget, this simply means let everyone coming bring at least one food item. That way, the pressure of over-cooking will be lifted off your shoulder and you can even have a variety of foods for everyone to enjoy from and have a great time. You can also place orders for small chops or finger foods in a large quantity so you can get a discount while paying and have it delivered to your house. Then bottles of wine that are not too expensive or home-made chapman can be served to your guests. The main thing is to have a good time.
- Plan Group Hangouts
There is strength in numbers. Another way for you to keep track of your spending this season is to organize group hangouts. This way everyone gets to contribute something so no one will feel pressured to carry everyone along. You can organize a group picnic in an outdoor fun environment and each person can bring something while coming. It will be more fun and exciting that way instead of just hanging on your own or with just one or two friends.
- Be Discreet with the Gifts Giving
I know it can be tempting to want to give everyone in your contact list something this Christmas but it will not be very wise of you if that single act of generosity ends up draining your bank account and leaving it in the red against the New Year. Rather, make a list of immediate family members like your parents, siblings, best friend or closest circle of about three or four friends and maybe your boss, pastor and mentor if you have any. Try not to exceed a Christmas list of ten people in total except you are financially buoyant enough to afford to give gifts to up to twenty or more people, then go right ahead. Also, don’t splurge on the gifts. Nothing is too small. What matters most is the heart and the intent with which it is being given. Christmas cards, airtime or data bundle, clothing, hair, make-up, hangouts, hampers will be just fine.
Don’t forget to have fun this Christmas season.