The festive season brings with it the urge to splurge, often with much abandon and little planning.
Yet against the backdrop of a less-than-rosy financial year, where a bonus is more a surprise than an expectation, take tips from Charl Nel, Head of Communications at Capitec Bank, on how to take financial control on Christmas:
- Double up on the fun – If you gave your kids quad bikes or iPhones in 2015, it doesn’t mean that they have to get something as flashy again. Choose a gift that all of them can enjoy, such as a board game or a sport activity set. It will not only be good for the kids get to spend quality time together, but they’ll also develop their hand-eye coordination or strategic skills.
- Too many chefs can be a good thing – Encourage a more diplomatic menu, where each foodie brings her, or his, favourite dish for the table. This does wonders for the festive mood and also encourages a few long overdue compliments between the clans.
- Smart shopper – Buying a pantry full of produce, a new outfit or even gifts is as simple as pick and click. Some debit cards function like a credit card. Online shopping is often cheaper too, so you’ll save tons of time, overcrowded mall frustration and moolah, without the risk of getting into debt.
- Splash of colour – To impress the Christmas stockings off your nearest and dearest, be daring with a pop of jolly colour to revamp your dining table or even cutlery. If that’s too bold a move, simply add a sassy red tablecloth, green placemats or trendy luminous baubles and crackers. A dash of colour can do wonders; just don’t go overboard and try it on the leather couch.
- Travel – Instead of hosting Christmas at yours, invite all the family to stay under one roof next to the sea or enjoy a tent holiday. Family accommodation is often cheaper in numbers, so book well in advance and split the cost with everyone.
- The gift that will keep on giving – Start teaching your brood the ABC’s of banking by highlighting the importance of saving not only in their piggy banks.
- Tech savvy, real-time tracking – Get your tech on by tracking your money on the go. Budget on the go.
Nel concludes, “All your good savings habits don’t have to go south just because it’s Christmas. Instead, have a game plan and involve your whole family in its success. This could do wonders for both the family dynamics, as well as your pocket.”
Source: Rafeeqah Gertze: Atmosphere Communications. Image: