Take control of your Christmas spending

Your finances don’t have to suffer this festive season. Here’s how to cut back and take charge.

All your good savings habits don’t have to go downhill just because it’s Christmas. Instead, have a game plan and involve your whole family in its success. This could do wonders for both the family dynamics as well as your pocket.

Double-up on the fun


•    Just because Santa gave the kids a 4X4 bike or iPod nano last year doesn’t mean they have get to something as flash again. Get smart and choose a gift that the two (or three) of them can enjoy, at half the cost.

Try a set of beach bats and ball, a gaming console or an old-school board game like chess. Not only will the kids get to spend quality time together, they’ll also develop their hand/eye coordination or strategic skills.

Or you can go back to basics and fill a box with art supplies. Paints, coloured paper and play dough are relatively affordable but can give your kids hours of good, clean, messy fun.

•    And it’s not just the kids that need to learn to share, go Dutch with the adults too.

Instead of your family buying a gift for your partner, create a wish list of big ticket items like a silver cutlery set or new carpet for the lounge. Give a copy to your family, and invite them to pool their gifts so you receive something you really need and can share.

Do the same for your parents, aunts and uncles and see how much more they’ll appreciate a new blender over another pair of socks and soap-on-a-rope.

Too many chefs can be a good thing


•    Christmas can become a bit like Masterchef: everyone wants to be the best. Be smart and instead of fielding cheap pot shots between Aunty Mae and Cousin Betty at Christmas dinner, encourage a more diplomatic menu where each foodie brings her, or his, favourite dish for the table.

This could do wonders for the festive mood and may even spark a few long overdue complements between the clans.

Smart shopper

•    If Silly Season is in full swing and you’re heading from one function to another, forgo time-busting Christmas shopping by doing it online. With no shortage of mobile devices to access retailers remotely, buying a pantry full of produce, a new outfit or even gifts is as simple as pick and click.

Some debit cards like Capitec's Global One, debit MasterCard also functions like a credit card, without the risk of getting into debt. Online shopping is often cheaper too so you’ll save tons of time, overcrowded mall frustration and moolah.

Splash of colour


•    By adding a pop of colour for the Christmas table to impress the Christmas stockings off your nearest and dearest. Be daring with a pop of jolly colour and revamp your dining table or even cutlery.

If that’s too bold a move, be simple by adding a sassy red tablecloth, green placemats or trendy luminous baubles and crackers. A dash of colour can do wonders; just don’t go overboard and try it on the leather couch.

Travel


•    Instead of hosting Christmas at yours, why not invite all the family to stay under one roof next to the sea or a tent holiday? Family accommodation is often cheaper in numbers so book well in advance and split the cost, saving everyone money.

All your good savings habits don’t have to go south just because it’s Christmas. Instead, have a game plan and involve your whole family in its success. This could do wonders for both the family dynamics as well as your pocket.

- Women24

Read more on: festive season  |  money  |  christmas

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