Budget tips for the silly season

The office is officially closed and you’re now free to party away with no Monday blues. But after the excesses of the festive season, an empty wallet is a familiar way to start the year. This leads to a well-known phenomenon called ‘Janu-worry’, and the start of a 3-week long baked beans on toast diet… Not ideal.

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Wynand van Vuuren, spokesperson for King Price, shares 5 steps to avoid the New Year stress and regret, so that you can start 2018 on a fresh, firm footing, with a healthy bank account.

Stick to a strict budget

Even with budgets firmly set, many of us overspend. Presents, petrol, food, accommodation, toll fees, ice-creams and movie tickets for the whole family… It all adds up. Sit down ahead of time, budget and plan, and if the numbers aren’t lining up, brainstorm what kind of changes and sacrifices you can make during the year so that next Christmas you can really treat yourself and the family.

Set a price limit for presents

Big families usually mean big gift budgets – but they don’t have to. There are fun ways around it like ‘secret Santa’, or simply limiting gifts to R100 each. Just remember, if you want to cut down on gifts for the family, set those expectations early, so you don’t give another hand cream to your granny, who just bought you a new watch.

Must you treat yourself?

Retail has seen a big rise in ‘self-gifting’, where people treat themselves to something while out shopping for others. Limit spoiling yourself, let others do it for you, and then reassess if you really do need that pair of jeans as much as you think you do, when January rolls around.

Avoid the shops and avoid the ‘latte factor’

Sure, all that time spent shopping clocks up fitness points, but it also leads to unnecessary purchases like coffees and smoothies, parking, and a quick bite to eat.

Don’t compromise

The spending monster might bite you really hard over the festive season, tempting you to cancel some really important debits like your insurance… But DON’T! What may seem like a moment of great pleasure can soon turn into a major ‘eina’ should you find yourself in an accident and not covered.

Wait for the sales

You know the January sales are coming, right? Save your hard-earned bucks, sit tight, and, provided you’ve budgeted for it, hit the shops on 2 January for some retail therapy.

For more advice on spending and investing your Rands wisely, visit King Price at kingprice.co.za.

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