Christmas is just around the corner and for those that aren’t as well organised and leave their shopping until Christmas Eve, you might be panicking on how you will afford the upcoming festive season! Others may have started their shopping already but spent a lot using credit cards – so finding a good way to repay this debt is also key. Whatever stage of Christmas you’re facing – don’t despair – there are ways that you can save extra money and still enjoy a wonderful Christmas.
#1 Tip 1 – Start saving TODAY
It is easy to delay putting extra money aside, but it is important that with December coming up next week, you start making that change TODAY. You can make small changes, like sacrificing that cup of coffee and putting the money in a piggy box instead. Or, how about making up your lunch at home so that you don’t spend anything when you are out. These small changes might not seem a lot, but can really help. Don’t put off tomorrow what you can achieve today!
#2 Tip 2 – Try Secret Santa
Every year, South Africans spend more and more on Christmas. According to Business Tech, the value of transactions in December 2018 last year reached R59 billion, a 15% growth on the previous year’s R51 billion. There were 106 million transactions, a 12% growth on the 95 million volume of transactions in 2017. But it doesn’t have to be that every South African buys everything they need and more for the Christmas season. Try cutting back – the excess of food and presents can be too much. What about suggesting a Secret Santa present giving between your friends, so that you don’t have to buy one gift for each person? This can really save on spending so that you don’t have to try and save so much.
#3 Tip 3 – Look at your energy bills
This is a great time of year to look at all your household outgoings when you are considering how to save money. Wonga has created a full list of money saving tips here but one of their best involves switching off your water heater when you leave the house. Its money saving blog says, “water heaters add up to 40 percent of the monthly electricity bill. It’s a good plan to isolate the first metre of your existing hot water pipe as well.” You may not see these savings immediately, but by early next year, it could really make the difference and you’ll be thankful that you made this change when you did. Think of all those savings – next Christmas you could have a really good saving pot that has accumulated from the savvy move you make with your energy bills right now.
#4 Tip 4 – Remember it is just a day
Christmas day is just a day – and it can be easy to forget this when you are wrapped up in the buzz of Christmas. It always seems to be the case that when you try to save money, an extra expense is suddenly needed, like a car breaks down, or medical bills need paying. Don’t get drawn into adverts on television that suggest you need to spend more than what you had originally planned at Christmas. It sounds cheesy, but try and remember the spirit or Christmas – being with family and friends and enjoying each other’s company, and nobody is going to complain about a gift that you give them if it isn’t quite as expensive as last year’s gift. If you can’t save the money in time, don’t beat yourself up over it. Spend within your means and you can still enjoy a fantastic Christmas without the extra material things.