The Christmas bells are ringing louder each passing day; the lights are flickering at every corner of the city. Santa Claus has been gracing the malls with glimmer and glitter where the people are walking out with loaded goody bags.
Offers on items are a bit too alluring and the traffic is easing towards the offices with more and more people taking their annual leaves. Events and shindigs are being advertised at every corner.
Most people are headed either towards the coast, north or the airport. All these routes threaten to dig deeper and deeper into the pockets. The funds fall into the bottomless bellies of holiday demands.
Will the savings go untouched or will January be the usual endless month of regretting poor financial decisions made during the holidays? The vicious cycle of lavish Decembers and dry Ja-nuaries could be broken with a few financial tips.
Of course, budgeting prior will never go out of fashion, only because it works. Work with what you have, make a list of all the items you need and stick to it. If you are an impulsive buyer, try visualising the hot dry January, it will give you a reason to be faithful to your budget.
Also, write down your priorities for next year and what will happen if you misuse all the money allocated. Your child’s school fee is more important than a trip to Pretoria.
Overcome the pressure, it is nearly impossible to scroll through Twitter and Facebook and not feel the urge to go all out. There is a lot of pressure that comes from seeing friends on holiday, spending and living large.
Life is not a competition, stick to your plans and avoid unnecessary inconveniences. Besides, spending less does not necessarily mean that your holiday will be boring, you can still share the cheer without falling into debt.
Try creating new traditions, if all your previous holidays have landed you into debt, a new and sustainable tradition might help. New adventures could be more thrilling due to suspense and expectations. Communicate to your children earlier, and tell them that you want to spend the holiday this year doing something new.
When the second of January finally arrives and you’ve stuck to your budget, and not fallen into debt, take time and enjoy the Dopamine. This is the reward feel-good hormone. You will feel more empowered due to keeping a promise to yourself and accomplishing what most people couldn’t, falling into debt.
All in all, Christmas in this part of the world is all about family. Make the most out of it, unwind and reflect on the previous year. Count your blessing and consider all the lessons you’ve learnt.