The last minute shopping during the festive season can cause serious damage to your pockets.
The festive season is here! While we planned and ensured that we have the perfect gift for our loved ones, we are sometimes left with those unwanted last minute shopping trips to the mall.
“Budgeting for the festive season and any other special life events should be a key strategy from the beginning of the year, not just NOW. Retail therapy is sometimes great, but it can be stressful as well. However, if managed correctly and within a budget, it can be a fun-filled activity,” says Ester Ochse, FNB Financial Advisory, Product Specialist.
Planning how to spend your money before the festive season rush can help you manage your money better. The budgeting process allows you to be able to make key money decisions, without actually worrying about that growing hole in your pocket.
Ochse Advises The Following When Doing Last Minute Shopping:
- Online shopping
Many retailers have shifted their focus to digital platforms to cater for people who are always on the go. If you don’t have time to rush to stores to buy that perfect gift, look at the various online retail websites for great ideas. Besides fashion, you can purchase home décor, furniture, and other accessories, which can be delivered to your door. In addition, you can pick up great discounts that can help you save immensely.
- Product Comparisons via Apps
We are used to trying on shoes and checking trouser or dress quality by hand; and are quite skeptical of going the online route for many reasons. Today, there are countless apps at your disposal that provide reviews on products, and this can help you decide where to make your final purchase.
Through the holidays and leading up to the festive season, retailers will have a number of specials. Wait for that bargain and don’t rush to make the purchase. The extra buck you save will help you elsewhere.
- Coupons and discounts
Take advantage of your coupon specials via newspapers and sometimes magazines. These can help you a great deal in saving for a gift or even for yourself.
Many consumers start buying vouchers from the beginning of the year so that they don’t overspend on food or other items. When using your voucher, know exactly what you’re going to purchase and stick to the budget.
- Use your phone to monitor your budget
Most people have smartphones which come with nifty apps, calculators and other applications. Use these features to keep track of your spending.
- Shop at holiday markets
There are many pop-up holiday markets during this time of the year. Support communities, charities by shopping at these markets. You may just find a gift that is way under budget and not what you expected.
- Be creative
Make your own wrapping paper, cards or even table décor. Look at second hand shops and craft blogs to get simple and innovative ideas to make your festive season fabulous.
Compare in-store prices or alternatively, buy your fruits and veggies at local food markets. The latter usually has very fresh produce at reasonable prices.
- Shopping with a partner
This can deter you from over spending and indulging in things that you don’t actually need. A shopping partner can help you limit your spending.
“We all suffer from a bit of impulsive buying which leads to people overspending, ultimately resulting in being financially overburdened in the New Year. Stick to your budget, your checklist and know what you want when doing your festive season shopping. Extra savings that you receive can go into your 2018 savings plan which can be used next year,” concludes Ochse.