It’s the most wonderful time of the year – but joy can quickly turn to dismay through over-spending. If you love to indulge over the holidays, it’s prudent to exercise a bit of extra caution during December and into the New Year. It’s the most consumer-driven time of the year too – and everything from Christmas sales to decorated malls are geared to get people buying. Take a look a tour tips to spend money wisely this Festive Season.

1. Lucky Number Thirteen
If you’re lucky enough to get a thirteenth cheque, times of plenty can turn to times of poverty at the blink of an eye and the swipe of a card. That money has the potential to disappear disarmingly fast,
so spend wisely or save. In fact, the smartest way to spend is to pay off any outstanding debt you might have accrued, starting with high interest bearing loans first.

2. Getting Paid Early Can Be a Curse
We’re all waiting for offices to close for some hard-earned rest over the Christmas holidays. Early shut down and public holidays normally mean many people get paid early in December. This is great
for gift shopping, but can make finances a pinch in January, so track your spending to make it last from pay day to pay day.

3. Don’t Break the Budget
Come up with a gift budget according to what you can afford and don’t break it – no matter how appealing that expensive gift might be! Similarly, come up with a travel and activity budget. Long stints at home, especially with children, can end up being very expensive. If you can’t afford a holiday, do some research around becoming a tourist in your hometown. You never know how much fun you could have.

4. Don’t Borrow to Own
The desire to spoil those close to us is strong. However, taking out loans to spend today only becomes tomorrow’s problem.

5. Home-Cooked is Where the Heart Is
Restaurant bills can be hefty. Waylay plans to eat out if it puts strain on your holiday budget – and opt for dinners at home or braais with friends and family. It is far easier to control costs with home cooking or a system of bring your own braai vleis.

6. Spend Quality Time – Rather Than Extra Money
A good rule of thumb for festive season spending is to keep it the same as any other day of the year. For everything from gift-buying to celebrating the end of another year, the things that matter are priceless.

7. What are your plans for the New Year?
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