Who doesn’t love Christmas? What with all the pomp and color, the food at family-get-togethers and the merry of partying ourselves silly? However, one thing that can put a dampener on our spirit is thinking about the major dent it puts in our pockets.
Some people may think Christmas is all about spending thousands on amazing presents, decorations and food. However, this could leave you financially crippled and therefore you need to get smart with your festive finances. With a sprinkling of budgeting advice and an added dash of creativity, you’ll be able to have the Christmas you’ve always dreamed of, without the bank balance of your nightmares.
Wondering how to do Christmas on a budget? These are the best ways to cut down on spending this December:
1. Make a Christmas Budget
Budgeting is often the best answer to any spending challenge. Budgeting might be painful, but take a good look at your bank account as a student to work out how much cash you have to play with before January strikes.
Remember, if you do not have a side hustle, you are depending on parents and HELB for that cash. Even for those with a side hustle, you need to establish how much you’ve got going spare (taking into consideration your usual expenses) and base your festive plans on that.
If you’re in need of some extra money at Christmas, maybe consider cutting back on a few luxuries or trying to make some quick cash on your side hustle!
2. Prioritize your Christmas Purchases
We all want that pizza with all the toppings, a first-class degree and the latest games console for Christmas too! But sadly, MShwari, Tala and all those loan apps won’t stretch far enough.
Particularly when you’re doing Christmas on a budget, you’re never going to be able to fulfill absolutely everything that features in your ideal festive fantasy. So grab yourself a pen and paper and start thinking about what’s really important to you this year.
It’s a sad fact of life that you won’t be able to buy a present for everyone you know, or be able to afford to attend all the concerts over this Christmas. But once you’ve worked out exactly what you want to get at Christmas, you can start thinking about how to make it work.
3. Take Advantage of Christmas Deals
Tuskys, Naivas, Jumia and every other supermarket or online store you can think of right now has a Christmas promotion going on! Take advantage of these deals to get what you want at a cheaper price.
However, it can be tempting to get sucked in by “special offers” and “unmissable deals” that you have absolutely no use for whatsoever. It might look like retailers are spreading the festive cheer, but the sad truth is that they’re trying to stop you from saving money at Christmas. Approach these Christmas deals with caution to avoid being sucked in and forgetting about your budget.
4. Use Loyalty Points from your Supermarket Card
As a student, it is always wise to register for that loyalty scheme at the supermarket nearest to your campus where you frequent. With every shopping you make throughout the year , you earn points that can come in handy during this festive season.
So, unless you’re already signed up to saving schemes or have a loyalty card, consider this some advice for next year. Loads of supermarkets run saving schemes whereby you save up money to spend at that specific shop and then, come the end of the year, they give you a small bonus on top.
5. Only Travel if you have to
One thing that is always crazy over the festive season is the fare charged to travel up-country. Due to the high demand by travelers going to visit their villages over Christmas, fares are likely to double. As a student, you can save on this by avoiding unnecessary travels upcountry.
So unless it is really necessary that you travel upcountry, do not do it! Just stay in your hostel and enjoy good time with friends over a movie. Good thing is bomb movies are coming out this Christmas and they will keep you occupied throughout the season.