Wow!!! it is December!!!, I vividly remember how we were all saying happy new year at the beginning of this year. Everybody was setting goals and getting on with new year resolutions.
We were so enthusiastic about the beautiful things the year 2020 will have for us. Sadly, our joy was cut short as the year did not turn out as we anticipated because of the novel COVID-19 and other unprecedented events that took place this year. Nevertheless, it is still a year to be grateful, if not for anything but for the gift of life.
The end of the year is usually a season of yuletide, and we all know that the yuletide season is a period where most people spend more because of the nature of the period, that is, from buying gifts for friends and family to organizing get-together and hangouts. In as much as most countries of the world are either still in recession or just finding their foot economically because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the fact remains that people still need to celebrate with their loved ones this season.
A lot of people are ready to unwind and spend some of the money they have worked so hard for. However, no one is telling you not to spend on yourself or on your loved ones, but when you are spending, it is important to spend with caution to enable you set a financial plan for the first quarter of the year 2021. Do not spend to impress and suppress people, rather, spend wisely to avoid going bankrupt because January does exist.
Here are a few tips to minimize and control your spending this period
- The first thing to do is to decide a budget for you and your household before the festivities commence. The budget has to do with travelling expenses, food, entertainment costs, shopping, and gifts you want to give out. Allocating a budget will help you cut down on overspending and enables you to avoid impulse buying.
- After deciding your budget, it is crucial to buy things ahead. Despite the economic recession, it is normal in Nigeria that prices of commodities rise steeply during the festive period especially when it is about a few days to Christmas. Buying whatever you need ahead will help you get things at a cheaper rate than waiting for the last minutes to get them.
- The next thing to do when purchasing what you need for the festive season is to track your expenses. When going for your festive shopping, it is imperative that you go with your budget list to avoid overshooting your budget. Making use of your budget list will enable you to track your expenses from the funds you have allotted for the season.
- Furthermore, try to cultivate the act of bargaining when buying things as it will aid you in paying less of what you initially budgeted for, as some sellers deliberately hike the prices of their goods just for their selfish interest. Do not jump to every price given to you. If you are not convinced about the price, it is advisable to try another shop.
- Lastly, while shopping, carrying your money in credit or debit cards helps to lower the risk of being robbed, reduces weight of carrying bulk money and makes the transaction more comfortable. However, for anybody that wants to cut down on expenses, it is advisable to stick to cash and leave your credit card at home, as using cash for your shopping will enable you to monitor your spending. The good thing about shopping with cash is that once the bundle’s size reduces, the mind becomes more cautious in making decisions to prevent debts and avoid being stranded.
In conclusion, it takes discipline to stick to the budget that you have made. The first instincts are always right. If it is not on your list the first time, it most likely is not too important. So, it is always important to separate your needs from your wants. Remember, while we are all anticipating the joy of the festive season, it is also the perfect time to modify our financial plan and keep track of our financial goals for the coming year, 2021
I hope you find this article helpful.