Being paid early and spending more leaves us with the forever month of January and for some even February as we try and recover from the aftermath of the festivities.
The reality of the forever month is that we have borrowed money from January for December. If you think about it, by the time Christmas has come and gone many of us have overspent and find ourselves starting Jan in the mode of end of the month Salticrax.
Holidays, Christmas gifts and generosity is a special time and both the giving and receiving of gifts can bring tremendous joy. However, the end of year holidays for many also carries a certain amount of pressure. Buying gifts big or small and spoil friends and family, on top of spoiling our bellies with good food and doing fun things all adds up.
We need to think about our holidays in the same way we would think about saving for a car or buying a new TV . Planning and saving are vital for this period or we end up giving the bank our money in interest and fees.
Saving for Christmas and the Festive season does not need to be a headache. By budgeting we can reduce the stress and worry during the festive months and if we stick to the budget we can even avoid a forever month and debt all together.
“A Budget is telling your money where to go, instead of wondering where it went” – Dave Ramsey
Tips and tricks for saving
- Practice saving – start small, try and push yourself by making small sacrifices, turn down one coffee or skip a packet of chips.
- Have a place to put all your change – the rands and cents you collect won’t make you rich but the mindset and habit will.
- Maybe shake up family habits and suggest each person buying one really nice present for someone in the family. That way everybody gets something they really want and no more of those dreaded “what do I do with this” presents.
- Start a present draw or box – during the year if you see something on a really good sale or you receive something you won’t use put it in the draw for someone who would appreciate it.
- Gift bags – at about R30 a bag nowadays reuse them… enough said.
- Set limits for what you will spend on gifts and stick to them.
- Tell someone about your plans to save. It will make you more accountable.
- Stock up on toiletries and other nonperishables before November.
- Just because you have money in your account, does not mean you need to spend it.
Holiday Saving Strategy
- Make a list of the people you wish to purchase gifts for.
- Make a list of the activities you wish to do during your holiday.
- Work out an amount for how much you will need over the months of December and January, this amount should include all the relevant celebrations (Christmas, New Years, braais and activities).
- Start saving from February to November, for example you might need R5000 to avoid a forever month, many people cannot just take R5000 out of their salary.
- If you put aside R500 per month come November, you would have reached your goal of R5000.
- If you think you cannot afford to save monthly, take a moment to reflect. How are you affording the holiday you didn’t plan for in 2018?
- If at the end of the year you only saved half of what you needed don’t be disappointed. You are way better off than zero. You can improve the next year.
- Put your savings into an account that is not easily accessible, meaning it will take a few days to reflect into your account, like a Unit Trust.
This list goes on and I am sure you can added a few of your own ideas, the point to our message though is to make a start.
Here at Growmatter we want the best for our clients and during the entire process of saving we work together with you. We are always here to answer questions and explain things you are unsure about.
For more information or if you want to start saving contact us
Live Trust Grow Matter