I for one, know that it’s hard to contain oneself when to it comes to spending this festive season, especially now that I have my eyes on a new TV set, the PS3 Slimline and a Mgongo Sound System. I recall it being only two years ago when I learnt to control my spendings especially when it’s all on debt, store accounts etc.
Since then, I have resorted to hiding my store account cards or asking a friend and/or relative to ‘keep them safe’ for me. It might be silly, but it works. Of course I could stroll into the shop with my ID at hand and ask them to bill it on my account, but as a guy, there’s something not fitting about dragging my ID with me wherever I go… You know?
So I found it fitting when my friends at DebtSafe suggested a few how to’s to saving and spending sparingly this festive season and beyond. I have tried some of the tips already and so far it works.
- Share the Journey:
Making memories and exploring the environment together will Gather your family who live closest to you and arrange a trip to your closest botanical gardens, beach or an easily accessible picnic venue. Plan accordingly and make a list of items that are needed to make the outing a success. Once you have your list you can compile a cost per head that should not be more than R 50 including transport, drinks and eats. Other ideas: Try Groupon or MyCityDeals websites for discount activities
- Don’t buy new gifts, simply share them:
Instead of buying each of your family members a low budget gift of R 50 each, draw a name from the hat and rather spend a large amount of approximately R 200 or more and save the rest of the money for birthdays that occur in the first month of the year. Other ideas: Use arts and crafts and make the gift; if you choose a lady you can buy different glass jars and herbs and put together make shift garden that can be used every day; if you choose a man you could make a special braai apron from off cut material and sow their name on the front pocket.
- As big as my family is, we all love being in the kitchen – try it out too:
No one said that the host should do all the slaving in the kitchen. When planning your Christmas Lunch / Dinner, why not ask each of your family members to bring a dish of food that reminds them of a special Christmas they used to share with a loved one. Other ideas: Why not try a ‘bring and braai’ with a pool party or a cook-off between couples who each bring their own food and the host supplies drinks.
So, don’t let the Christmas blues and being broke get you down… Be prepared, plan ahead of time and have a blast with loved ones.
PS. Don’t expect any gifts from me this year… No really, don’t 😐