It is a popular saying that January has ninety(90) days. Although this may sound funny as it is not factually true, it is important to realize how easy it is to get lost in the euphoria of festivity and become unaccountable in our spending.
In the midst of all the holiday parties, dinners, travels, gifts and other events that coincide with the Thanksgiving and holiday season, you shouldn’t forget about your finances as well. Here are a few end-of-year finance and savings tips:
- Plan your budget:
It is not unpopular for people to check their card bill in January and exclaim: “How did I spend that much?” You might not think you spent a lot of money during the holidays — after all, you bought modest presents for your family and didn’t fly anywhere exotic but you’d be surprised at how quickly the “little things” can add up. That bump in your grocery bill around Thanksgiving, plus that Uber ride home from the company holiday party, plus the new Christmas lights that you picked up — before you know it, your holiday-related “unplanned” expenses have risen beyond expectation. It is therefore important to set a “holiday budget,” which can be broadly defined as any expense that relates only to the festive period, whether it’s for gifts, travel, clothes, or serving dinner to a party of 12 at your home.
- Buy strategically:
Ensure you consult your list and think about whether you really need those items before buying them. Don’t get caught up in the excitement of grabbing items only to end up overspending. Remember to stick to the items on your list and to do some research on what a good price actually is. If you’re unsure whether the price you’ve seen is a good one, run a quick search online to see what other retailers are selling the product for before buying it.
- Start saving now:
It is not too late to put aside a small amount of money this season in savings. This will help you to feel more in control of your finances and will leave you with a buffer for emergencies. Think about what you can afford to put to aside then work out how much this will leave you with to spend on food or gifts. If you don’t have much to spare, consider whether you could cut a non-essential out your Christmas list .
- Stock-up in advance:
Another tactic to take away the financial sting in the coming month is to stock up on non-perishable items. This way, you will have less to worry about as some of your needs would have already been met.
The corona virus pandemic has indeed placed us in difficult times but with the right strategies put in place, we would rise above it.
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