The festive season is here in all its glory and it is time to celebrate with your loved ones. To this end, many individuals have started to plan on how to surprise their families and friends during holidays.
However, once the excitement of the season is over, shock, despair and stress become a bit overwhelming, much of wonder on how to start a new year with the bulk of bills awaiting; ranging from rent, school fees, repaying debts, etc.
Keeping this in mind, it is necessary to keep a close eye on your budget and prepare yourself for all the expenses you might incur. All the gifts, home essentials to host parties, shopping for clothes and home appliances can add up pretty quickly.
Below are a number of items to guide you on how to manage the much-awaited season;
Save for Yourself
Remember, not only does saving for the holiday shopping season help alleviate stress, but if possible, you should also save a portion of each salary check to pay for any unexpected financial crises, such as health emergencies or a major repair on your car.
Most people do not plan oblivion of what the new year brings. Most Kenyans prefer to call it “Njaanuary” to imply the month of hunger. Although festival offers can be exciting, it is advisable not to let this convince or influence you into shopping more than what you need. It is easy to go overboard and exhaust your budget, especially when you find things on offer.
“Don’t look at it as a very big thing, take a pen and write down what you need. Plan for January first before you start thinking about December,” says Rubi Njonjo, an entrepreneur and programme manager at Centonomy.
Prioritise what is most important. It has been a tough two years due to the coronavirus pandemic. If you had a Christmas tree last, do not throw it away, make it reusable to save on the little you would have to spend for something important come near year.
“Redeem points, so that if you don’t not have cash, you have the points to redeem and get what you need,”
Take advantage of promotions
Affordable is relative to your budget. Something might be affordable since we are headed into the festive season. But Mwangi advises to still have a plan. If something is affordable now but spending on it would impair your budget in January, drop it.
“Avoid being not sure about what you should get due to the Black Friday deal.”
Have separate budget
Review your list and calculate how much you plan to spend on gifts. Divide the total by the number of salary checks you will receive between now and when the holiday shopping season begins.
Create a holiday budget before that time comes knocking. Njonjo insists that whereas you create a budget for festivity, have one for January intact.
“Depending on however much you want, it has to be respectful of your budget.”
Stay off from debt/credit
You have a plan, look at it and be realistic. A lot of fun is underway and many would resolve to please friends and family through borrowing. Before you do this, understand what affects your credit score and take the necessary steps to reach healthier credit. The higher your score, the better rate you are likely to receive.
“Unless you are borrowing more money that you will use to invest to make you more money, stay clear from debt.”
Premium tears are underway come January. Merry within your limits, have an amazing time with your ideal cash. Just please no one but your landlord/landlady.