10 Smart Ways To Budget For December. The December holidays are upon us, and we know what that means. We shop till we drop. We through parties, host luncheons and dinners. We travel the world, or visit relatives. All of this needs money. One needs to plan ahead so that they don’t suffer in January. Here are 10 ways how.
1. Have A Savings Jar
You will be surprised what a few loose coins and notes can do to get December’s expenses covered. Put a savings jar in a ‘high traffic spot’ in the house and get your family’s competitive streak going by challenging them to start joining in on the activity. Starting a savings culture in your own home is not only exciting and fun, but also educational.
2. Plan Ahead
People who plan months before the big December holidays are the wisest. Set your festive season budget long before December 1 to prepare yourself mentally for the choices you’ll have to make. You can also make a dent in your debt. This will help you to feel confident that you’re in control of your finances as you head into the new year.
3. Determine The Cost
People must start taking control of their holiday expenses by setting up a budget. This budget will include all the expenditures such as fuel, clothes, car hire, travel tickets etc. Set money aside for daily expenditure and add it into the budget.
4. Be Dedicated
Not everybody can afford to have lavish holidays. This though, does not mean that you cannot enjoy your December break whether it will be mostly spent in your hometown or a few hours’ drive away. You just have to portray positive savings and ‘money behavioural patterns.
5. Make Use Of Pre-holiday Sales
A sale prior to December always comes in handy. But, the item(s) that you want to add to your shopping cart should be something that you ‘need’ and not ‘want’ – like stocking up on non-perishable goods, for example. So compile shopping lists for essentials and remember: before you head into the sale, to prevent impulsive and excessive buying, ask yourself: “Do I really need this?”
6. Share Expenses
Sharing expenses is fun and money savvy. When you know you have to make plans to prepare for a few December events, dinners or braais, let the guests or family members join in (by bringing their own drinks and meat). Sharing is caring, plus it’s fun too.
7. Stay In Doors
December holidays do not have to consist of an expensive movie, put-put or restaurant outings. What about making a homemade ‘movie theatre’ in the garden by using the projector and those old, unwanted bedding sheets? Kids and adults can enjoy different types of activities in the comfort of your own home. This will not only give you peace of mind, but also avoid your pocket being ripped off.
8. Have A Miscellaneous Category
You already have accounts for decorations, travel, donations and more. And don’t forget to build in a miscellaneous category. It’s always better to have a little extra room or miscellaneous. You won’t use it and it goes back into savings. Imagine using all your money, and then something comes along and you’re stuck pulling out of savings
9. Don’t Over Spend
Avoid tapping into credit and stay away from easy credit and store cards. Resist the temptation of buying the newest summer fashions, trendy gifts and end-of-year treats on “easy credit terms”. Keep a careful track of your expenses. While spending is inevitable, overspending is avoidable, and saving is achievable
10. Be Wise With Your Bonus
If you receive a bonus, use a portion of it before you have the chance to spend it. This will reduce your debt or increase your savings account balance. This “investment” in yourself will improve your financial situation and give you a bit of leeway if you absolutely have to purchase something that is slightly out of your budget.