• Darren Sheer

Festive season shopping

How to set up a shopping budget this festive season

Money might be tight this year and financial constraints may require some adjustments. We give you tips on how you can protect your wallet from the temptation to overspend.

Don’t shop until you drop this festive season. Don’t break the bank. Budget like a pro this festive season.

When we think of the festive season, we think of presents and all the wonderful things that come with a celebration. We also know that the festive season is a time for giving, which means that we often find ourselves spending beyond our means.

Financially, this puts us on the back foot, often for months into the new year, which is why it’s essential to set a budget before we even set foot into a store or when shopping online.

No budget? No control of your money

A budget gives you control over your finances, it’s a plan for how you spend. Often we find ourselves swiping our cards without thinking about how much money we have coming in. A budget will give you a clear plan for your spending, showing you what’s coming in (income) and going out (expense). By tracking your spending habits, you can see what you can cut out and where you can save.

Think tomorrow

While budgeting over the festive season is especially important because it’s the most significant spend of most people’s year, you will find it useful to budget throughout the year. A big part of budgeting is projecting your future spend to prepare for expenses like buying school uniforms, a car service or an increase in your rental.

Always plan for the unexpected

Once you have projected your future spend, it’s time to think about unexpected expenses. What happens when you find yourself in an unexpected situation? Do you have a safety net, financially? If the answer is no, it’s time to start preparing one. A budget goal is an essential step in your budgeting process. Having a budget goal will allow you to save, put money towards your retirement, start a university fund for the kids or even towards the purchase of your own home. A portion of this money should be set aside and kept as your safety net for those unexpected and unfortunate situations which life sometimes throws at us. As the festive season approaches, money from your budget goal can also be used for Christmas presents!

Don’t be fooled by specials and sales

As the year draws to a close and the festive season starts creeping in, there are sales and specials everywhere. This is often when we fall into the spending trap. Don’t be lured in, always shop with a list and only after you have set your budget.

Remember you are walking into a store with a plan and not just buying blindly. Also, don't be lured by the flashing sale signage when shopping online.

Five tips for bargain hunting

Being a bargain hunter actually takes time and effort. You really need to do your homework to make sure you are getting the best deals possible:

  • Research, research and research some more. Always explore all of the stores who stock the product you are looking for.

  • Ask around your network, word of mouth is often the best way to find the best deals.

  • There are plenty of online websites/Apps created especially for deals.

  • Shop second hand, there are plenty of stores which only sell good quality second-hand pieces. You can find anything from clothes to furniture in perfect condition.

  • Shop slowly and think through your purchases to ensure what you buy is actually what you are looking for.

We are here to help, let’s start with printing a budget template. Our debt experts are available to assist you with setting up a budget and to help you stick to it.

With Solace you’re not alone

Solace is your companion in helping you budget and finding financial wellness. Our experts can help you setup your budget, plan your money matters and get in control of your debt. Contact us for more information.

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