Sniffs air. What does that smell like? Smells like Christmas!
It’s my favourite time of the year and I’m going to go out on a limb here and say this is true for most of us. Asides from the holiday we get away from work, and the boost in economy, I love everything else about the season; the colours, the decorations, the family dinners, the trips and don’t get me started on the gifts! The reality of all these is...debit on debit alerts.
Psychologists believe people tend to make more purchases and spend more money during the festive mood, as it boosts their self-esteem. It’s also been recorded that a survey of 2,000 people conducted by Yelp and commissioned by OnePoll found that 28% had gone into debt during the festive season. I’m not crying. Shouldn’t there be a way to enjoy this season to the fullest without breaking the bank? Of course there is.
I got to work and came up with four ways to celebrate Christmas on a budget.
As with all things which require spending, you need a budget. Regardless of how tight it is, you need one. Preparing a budget helps you define the boundaries within which you'd be celebrating. In a related post, Investopedia states “Sticking to a budget is a good way to keep yourself out of debt during any time of year”.
Your budget acts as an accountability document which you can always consult when you're about to go overboard. Essentially, it puts you in control of the wise and/or not so wise financial decisions you'd be making this season.
Honestly, we can't do it all. I know we'd like to, but our budget dictates otherwise.
Hence, we need to prioritize. Make a list of everyone you intend sending gifts to, events you'd like to attend, vacation spots you've been eyeing all year long, outfits you've sworn you'd buy to stay stylish and more.
Here comes the not so pleasant aspect of it, prioritizing. Do the big chop. Cut out people you don't HAVE to give or replace initially planned gifts with more budget-friendly ones, take out events you can do without attending, e.t.c. Be rest assured, this would help your budget, greatly.
This cannot be overemphasized. With the yuletide season comes a hike in prices. Also, as a result of the pandemic disrupting the manufacturing and supply chain process, the retail sector’s capacity to meet up with demands might drive up prices.
According to Deloitte’s annual holiday retail forecast, retail sales have been predicted to increase by 7-9% over last year, while e-commerce sales will jump by 11-15%. Save yourself some extra coins and shop early. When you shop early, you buy items at their original prices and possibly discounts. As an implication, you free up some money which can be diverted to other to-dos.
Ahem, you've been helped thus far but this last step is entirely up to you. Despite being intentional, and doing everything necessary to ensure you celebrate Christmas on a budget, the invitations and temptations will pour in. Friends and family are not privy to your budget so they'd definitely reach out to you for yuletide enjoyment. Do you have to go? What would happen if you didn't buy that creamy pasta? Or travel to Ghana to watch WizKid perform? (I can't even judge you for this).
Ask yourself these questions. As tough as they might be, they'd help ensure you stick to your budget. Eyowo Controls supports you in creating a working budget and keeping to it. You’d definitely be held accountable.
Fret not, follow the steps above, stick to the plan, and watch your Christmas celebration come together.
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