2020 has flown by and, believe it or not, December is right around the corner. WageWise is here to help you spend smart this holiday season and make sure that you stay on track financially.

  1. Start with a budget

The holiday season can be really hard when it comes to managing your money. On top of your normal responsibilities you now also have to think about extended family, extra meals, traveling home or away, buying gifts, and the year ahead. It’s important that you budget carefully for this period and that you stick to it. Remember to prioritise your NEEDS over your WANTS and to not get caught up in a spending spree. For example, maybe you need to spend more money on water and electricity because your parents are coming to visit. That’s okay, but then you need to spend less money somewhere else – maybe on food because you can cook more at home rather than eating out. Use our budgeting tool to help you find the right balance.

  1. Plan ahead

December is ‘peak’ season which means things are usually pricier. This can be seen in increased accommodation rates, busier roads, expensive items at the mall, higher airfares, etc. You can help keep some of these costs down by planning ahead and avoiding the last-minute rush to make plans and get things done.

  1. Don’t use credit

People can often get caught up in the excitement of the holiday season and end up in debt due to overspending. There is a lot of sales and promotions in December and everyone is trying to get you to buy their products. Try to avoid this and only buy things that you need and avoid buying anything on credit, paying cash is much better! If you buy something on credit remember that you will need to pay this money back with interest so it ends up costing you way more.

  1. Rethink gift ideas

We often show our love for friends and family by buying them gifts for Christmas. This is a nice thing to do but you should only be buying gifts if you are able to afford them and it should never come at the cost of your own financial freedom. Remember that gifts don’t need to be material items – you can show your care for someone by making them something or by simply spending quality time with them.

  1. Be ready for January

As fun as December is, January is never far away. You need to be careful with your spending and make sure that you have enough money left over for your January expenses. For some of us this means school fees, stationery, and uniforms. For others this means increases in rent, medical aid rates, and insurance policy premiums. Whatever your situation, make sure that you know what to expect and that these costs are included in your budget so that you have peace of mind that you have enough money to cover them.

Want to learn more about how to manage your money better? We have loads of information and helpful tips on our website and on our Facebook page. PLUS, there are competitions where you can win grocery vouchers to help you out this holiday season.