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DEALING WITH FINANCES THIS FESTIVE SEASON



They say: “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is a slave to the lender”. Do not be a slave to debt, if you haven’t got it, you cannot spend it.

As the festive season approaches, we have to think about how we will fund it, what we will spend on, what activities we will do, and which places we will visit. It is an exciting season and yet expensive time. Financial planning may help you avoid becoming swamped in debt in January 2023, which will negatively affect your health.


It is important to plan your finances carefully so you can enjoy both the festive season and the new year. Isn't it more pleasant to know that you don't have to deal with debt collectors and creditors calling you all the time after the holiday season?


Here are a few pointers:


Budgeting


To begin with, you may want to be honest about your net income. This should not be your expected 13th check or bonus, but your actual monthly income. A list of expected expenses, such as accommodation, electricity, gasoline, food, and school fees, is then drawn up. By creating a budget, you'll be able to manage your finances effectively and not have to borrow money.


Bonus


If you do receive a bonus or 13th cheque, pay off store card and credit card debt because these most likely tend to have a very high interest rates. If you have children, buy uniforms and stationery in December after Christmas so you can miss those long lines at the shops. The festive season is only but a few days, rather take care of the most important things than suffer from self-inflicted stress or “Janu-All-Worries” as we all know it.


Shopping


Shop around for items on sale. Clothes are usually cheaper after the festive season. There will be many 50% off sales and “Buy one get one free” so if you do need to buy clothes then that will be the time.


Holidays


As the holiday season approaches, festive holidays are planned far in advance. Traveling to a holiday destination in advance is a smarter and cheaper way to save money. Over the festive season, prices at holiday destinations tend to increase. If you want to cut down on food costs, then consider self-catering, which is cheaper than hotels. Make a budget for all the paid activities you intend to participate in. It is best to stay home if you do not have money saved up for a holiday. Never borrow money for a holiday.


Gifts


Spending money and giving gifts to our children and parents gives us a great feeling. However, once the festive fever has died down, we will be left with a steep price to pay. If you haven't already set aside a gift budget, avoid falling victim to store ads that encourage you to "shop till you drop", you will literally die from stress if you don't make regular payments. It is not advisable to use credit cards to buy gifts, as you will be responsible for repaying money that you have not earned. If you have not saved up for gifts, the gift giving will have to pass for this year. Do not succumb to pressure from your kids or your family members to buy gifts you cannot afford.


Save for January


If you can, prepay for stuff like electricity, food, uniforms, stationery etc. Since most people's pay checks were received around the 15th of December and their next pay checks won't arrive until 31st January, January is an expensive month. Set aside money for grocery, petrol, etc. Many supermarkets will be offering reduced prices on groceries, so shop around.


Save for Emergencies


When the festive season arrives, most GP's will be closed, and if you need emergency medical attention, you'll usually have to pay for it yourself. When traveling, you may experience an unexpected tyre puncture or a car breakdown, so be prepared for these and other emergencies.


Last but not least, make sure that you pay your debt in December. It's true that it is a festive season, but creditors do not extend payment just because it is a holiday season. During this season, creditors are not tolerant of late payments, as it's not because you lack money, but because your priorities aren't in order.


Avoid putting off debt until the holiday season is over if you are already in debt, otherwise it will be too late. A debt counsellor can help you create a budget, negotiate reduced interest rates with your creditors, and help you draw up a budget. Contact us TODAY! (021) 569 2109


Enjoy the festive seasons and remember to spend wisely.

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