The silly season is upon us, and along with relaxing with your family and friends, taking a well-deserved break and enjoying summer, this time also almost always means pressure to spend.

Overspending during the holidays is easy because you’re more relaxed. According to Eunice Sibiya, head of consumer education at FNB, “for many South Africans, having fun means spending money.” Sibiya has a few simple tricks to ensure you have a good break without succumbing to the pressures of overspending.

  1. Look after yourself first – It is so easy to get carried away at this time of year, but the first and most important step to take is to look after your own finances. Move any additional cash into your bond or a savings account, as you can move it out again in January when the bills are due.
  2. Avoid spending large amounts of time in shopping centres – With all the specials and twinkly lights, it is very easy to be lured into overspending at malls. If you have to do your festive season shopping, do this alone and have a list. This way you will have less reason to be distracted from your task.
  3. Try a different approach to gifts – Gifts should never be the reason you go into debt. There are great options that don’t have to cost a fortune. Presents for the children can also be fun and inexpensive, such as collecting glass jars and scrubbing off the labels so they are sparkling clean. Fill these with sweets and tie a ribbon around it. Consider foregoing gifts entirely for adults this year and doing something that maybe means something a bit more, such as a note about why you appreciate each other, or a promise to spend time quality time together in 2017.
  4. Be sensible – Finally, take the decision to be sensible this festive season. If you realise that having fun doesn’t necessarily mean spending money you don’t have, you will have a much better 2017 financially.

Source: FNB

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