BY JUDITH WAMBUI
The Easter holiday is here with us.
Although under-rated, Easter is also a time one gets to spend more after the spending shocks of January. From the random calls from long-lost friends to weekend road trips and camping, spending out of budget is a definite possibility. Have a look at the following saving tips to ensure your holidays go on smooth and fabulous.
1. Make a Budget
One may overlook this aspect. Budgets are seen appropriate when dealing with necessities and needs such as kids’ school fees, shopping, rent and utilities. This shouldn’t be the case. Even for the fun activities, a budget is a necessity since there is money that you will be spending. Set the amount available for spending, make a list of the activities and their respective amount. Therefore, overspending will always be at bay.
2. Opt for Cheaper Traditions
Hotels bookings will be full during the holiday season. Some of them ‘overpriced’ due to the artificially created high demand. You will pay dearly for services especially if you didn’t take advantage of the early holiday bookings. The crucial saving tip during the holidays here is to go for less priced options like visiting a children’s home, visits to the park or making the family’s favorite meal together.
3. Go Cash- All The Way as a Saving Tip During the Holidays
Make cash payments. The issue with non-cash payments is that they numb the pain of spending. They are much more painless as compared to using cash. So you will end up spending way much more than you had anticipated. But when you have a set amount, in cash form, it’s easier to track your spending as compared to debit cards, credit cards or even mobile banking.
4. Track Your Spending
You need to know where each of your hard earned dimes goes to. Chances to indulge are higher at around this time of the year. A life-saving tip during the holidays is to have the ‘envelope budget’ system. Whereby, you allocate each holiday’s activities’ amount in a marked envelope.
5. Cut On the Extras
Avoid any items that you can do without. Or rather improvise on the same and still end up with enjoying the holidays as much. Personalizing of gifts instead of getting the expensive ones is the way to go. You can give something homemade. It brings out a personal touch to the gift, thoughtfulness and a straight from heart feeling.
6. Take Advantage of the Discounts
Discounts normally come in plenty at this time of the year. To maximize on this, you can shop in comparison to ‘cash in’ on the lowest discounts that there is in the market.
7. Save Up for Expensive Gifts and Holidays
Setting up a holiday savings account will go a long way in ensuring a smooth holiday. And it will not eat up into your savings. Besides your usual savings account, set up a holiday saving account. To achieve discipline on this one, try a checkoff, from your salary.
8. Group Savings
Consider also group savings. Join up with your three or four of your friends and set up a holidays savings account. A combined effort at play here. You will be able to save up more as opposed to individually. It will also be easier to take advantage of holiday discounts offered by the many tours and travel agencies.
Go for cheaper old-time options budgeting, make cash as your main mode of payment, take advantage of the discounts and avoid last minutes’ rush. You will be assured of smoother months ahead. Your future self will definitely thank you for the tips as you enjoy a debt-free post-holiday season.
I wish to enjoy my Easter season, do you?
Judith Wambui is our guest writer