How to avoid overspending this holiday season


Johannesburg – The vacation feeling is in the air.

Most people look forward to a break in December to rest and recharge their batteries.

The holiday season is also a time when spending increases and shopping is a priority.

Spending statistics of South Africans during Black Friday show an increase in spending habits compared to 2020.

This spending pattern will most likely continue into December.

The main categories during Black Friday sales were groceries, clothing, transportation and entertainment, which could remain the top three over the next few weeks.

The holiday season is short, you need to be careful not to overspend during this time.

Here are some tips for managing your money:

  1. Make a gift and grocery list

The first step is to make a list of all the people you need to give a gift to, as well as the number and size of family gatherings. Then track your purchases against these lists.

2. Establish a budget

Once you have your lists, decide how much you can spend on each category like gifts, groceries, and entertainment.

It’s your budget, and it has to be realistic. This should be an amount you can afford. Try not to use credit to cover your holiday expenses.

Ideally, that money should come from savings, a bonus, or a 13th check.

Another helpful tip is to use the FNB Smart Budget feature on the FNB app to help keep you on track.

3. Buy smart

Try shopping online, it will reduce the amount you spend browsing the items you don’t need.

Buying online is easy and safe when you use your FNB virtual card. Buy early in the month, don’t leave it at the last minute.

This will help avoid the pressure of last minute shopping and increased expenses.

4. DIY gifts

Giving gifts is a great way to save money while keeping kids entertained.

There are all kinds of ways to give gifts, like baking cookies, making preserves, or other keepsakes for family and friends.

5. Use credit cards with care

Credit cards can be useful tools, but use them with care and stay within your budget.

At the end of each month, make sure you can pay off the outstanding balance in full and not just the minimum amount owed, this way you avoid interest charges.

6. Use loyalty programs

Now is a good time to use your loyalty money or your saved rewards.

For example, if you’ve saved your eBucks during the year or have some available, use them to buy freebies or fuel if you’re going on a trip.

seven. Use the extra money

If you get a windfall such as a bonus, be responsible for that money.

The rule of thumb is an 80/20 principle – 80 percent of the money to pay off debt or save in an emergency or cover January expenses such as school fees.

Then indulge yourself with 20 percent of the money or use it for the holiday season.

8. Avoid the Long Janu-Worry

If you get paid earlier in the month, avoid the temptation to spend that money during the month of December.

A good tip is to transfer the money to a quick access savings account and then “pay yourself” on your regular pay date.

Keep in mind that several financial institutions will be processing debit orders earlier in the month, so plan for that as well.

December is a good time to rest and recharge for the coming year.

Using these tips along with tools available on the FNB app such as Smart Budget are good ways to avoid the stress of a very long Jan-u-WORRY.

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Anelisa Sibanda


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