By: Lifestyle Reporter
After a treacherous financial year, we’ve finally made it to December. That said, it’s a time of the year were being frugal is allowed. We tend to get carried away with holiday spending, splurging on gifts, food and outings. Something to be mindful of is that, there are many families who are going through trying times with one or more family members having lost their jobs this year due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
Let’s not get caught up in lavish spending and what’s under our trees. And try to spare a thought for those who may just be trying to survive this December and make it into 2021 hopeful things will turn around.
With that in mind, let’s see where we can cut costs this festive season and take better spending habits into the new year.
Say no to anything on credit
It may seem like a great idea at the time, but buying anything on your credit card or an account is a bad financial decision. You’ll end up forking out more than the item you’re purchasing with interest. Depending on whether you’re taking the 6 month or 12 month option to pay back, the amount you initially had in mind is almost double that by the end of the term.
Read the fine print
Don’t get caught in a tangled web of unnecessary charges and late payment add-ons. Go through all paperwork before you sign on the dotted line. Go through the terms and conditions with a fine-toothed comb and ask the salesperson as many questions as you need to, before you commit to the purchase.
Budget, Budget, Budget
Being thrifty doesn’t mean you’re a cheapskate. It does mean that you’re planning ahead and living within your means. Having a budget and sticking to it, will go a long way into hitting and maintaining your financial goals. If the aim is to save a percentage of your salary every month, then scale back on the drinks with friends.
This does not mean you turn in to an anti-social recluse, scaling back doesn’t mean you no longer have a social life. But drinks out with friends can get pricy. Inviting them around for a drink, can save you in the long run. Have your friends bring their own drinks or a 6-pack to go around between each guest. You have your social life, and you get to keep your goal to save.
Before you head to the store or login online to your favourite store, make sure you know what it is you aim to buy. Make a list and stick to it. Don’t be tempted by any marked down items or those “buy multiple items of the same brand and get 1 free” deals. Track your spending habits without a list and with and you will realise that self-control is something you need to master.
Gugulethu Mfuphi spoke to Nkazi Sokhulu, the co-founder of Yalu, on Budgeting ahead of the festive season. Listen to the conversation here: