As we get ready to welcome December, the festive season is upon us, and I am sure a lot of us can’t wait to take a break and probably shop till we drop. I was a bit sceptical about this festive period, because of the recession in the country. But from the information got recently, the Lagos main market, Idunmota, is flooding with shoppers, already starting their holiday shopping. We all need to be careful how we spend this season because prices of commodities have risen.
When the country was still a bit better, a lot of people complain of having the post-holiday spending hangover. You don’t have to be hungover from your holiday spending if you spend wisely. The following tips are to help you spend wisely this holiday season.
1. Make a budget
I don’t mean you having a hazy idea of what you can afford, I am talking about a written budget. A lot of people don’t even make a written budget, they feel that since they know what they can afford, that’s all that matters. Let’s be clear: A hazy idea is not a budget.
You need to sit down (with your significant other if you share the bills) and write down your holiday budget. Write everything even down to the little things you think are not significant. Everything is significant in finance. Assign the amounts you want to spend on everything, everything needs a specific budget, including people.
Within the next week, you need to sit down (with your significant other if you share the bills) and write down your holiday budget. To do this, you need to include all these:
Add it all up and balance that against what you can afford. Once you get the total for everything, you may find you have to pare down spending for some people or eliminate others altogether.
2. Be creative
The internet is filled with DIY’s so you don’t have to spend money on everything. You need to get creative so you can get your family and friends what they need without spending a lot of money. You can learn to cook, instead of eating out. You probably don’t have to go out, you can enjoy this holiday by thinking of creative ways you can spend time with your family and friends at home.
3. Don’t shop with big spenders
If you shop with people who don’t have a problem spending big, you also will be inclined to do the same. I recommend you shop with a spouse, a trusted confidante, or someone who understands your budget constraints. Use teamwork to resist those impulse buys. If you shop with someone who had no problem spending three times your budget, you also won’t know when you’ll go over budget.
4. Shop like it’s a job.
Always remember that selling is a business. Retailers are trying to sell you more. It’s their job. But there are two sides to every transaction. Consider it your job to stay in control of your decisions. Remember that you need to spend responsibly, so don’t listen to the sweet talk of the retailers, you are also there for business.
5. Look for deals
Make sure you look for deals for things you plan to get this festive period. This will help you save money. Even if you can afford it, still ask the retailer if you can get a discount. Don’t be shy or embarrassed, learn to be a Yoruba mother, She can bargain anything, just so she gets the best price. Learn not to pay full price for everything.
It may seem too late to save for your holiday spending, but you can use this tip for next year. Remember to save for the treat you want to give yourself the coming year, so you won’t have to worry about powering people or going over budget.