How to live on a budget this holiday season

Money and saving must be the last thing on your mind this season but it is important that we have a discussion or thought process around this, because January is known to be the longest and penniless month of the year. 

We tend to go all out in December planning trips, hosting parties, giving and gifting family and friends, which is okay, but sometimes this can leave us broke and frustrated when the New Year starts yet that is not the kind of energy we want to start 2019 with.

So here are a few spending and saving tips for you:

Be purposeful in having fun

To be purposeful means proper planning, however there is always that pre-conceived attitude that planning is boring and draining with all the writing and over-thinking that you have to do.

On the contrary, planning can be interesting if it is around something fun, new and fresh that you have always wanted to do.

So think about the target and put aside money for it, research around all the fun things you want to do this holiday, get inside information around experiences in Rwanda and even outside the country, aligning them to your budget.

Remember the size of your dream will determine the size of the planning, so be as realistic as you can be on your wants, needs and goals.

Be creative with gifting

It is also the season for gifting or giving and this is where we go wrong with the idea that gifts have to be monetary or expensive to matter.

You don’t have to break the bank to give, giving always comes from a good place and therefore it should not clean you out completely. It could be simply items in your closet or house that you do not use quite often, items that you can create by doing yourself in the comfort of your home or even a simple cook out.

Allocate something to your bonus

So your boss may have been fair this year to give you a bonus or paid your salary early in advance, it may feel good to have more zeros in the bank but before that feeling gets to you, put that money in your savings account or make good use of it while planning realistically for the holiday season just before the money falls in the miscellaneous box.

Look out for discounts

Make use of the crazy and quick sales this time of the year as the holiday season is like another international Black Friday.

So do not purchase items without doing some research to find out the best discounts in town but do not limit yourself to physical stores only, go online and save some coins, it is some of the bells and whistles of the internet age.

Pay your bills in advance

So before life catches up with you at the beginning of the New Year tick off the big bills. Pay your rent or school fees early in advance then you will clearly know your spending parameters this season. I can bet even your landlord/landlady as well as the school bursar will love you more for it.

Deny yourself access to cash

Separate your spending and saving accounts as much as it may feel secure to have all your visa cards and mobile money together at all times this holiday season. This will help you avoid overspending habits.

If you go away for holiday, out with friends or dine in a restaurant carry only what you planned to consume and leave the rest as planned.

Twitter: @christineamira




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