By Lisa Osiako
“Tis the season to be jolly!” With just two days to December, Christmas is definitely in the air. This is the season that calls for family and spreading joy and love. However, come the end of it, it is also the month that can cause you a lot of worry and empty M-Pesa and Bank accounts.
To get through this and still maintain a smile on your face come the new year, here are a few tips that can help you save and spend:
Budget, budget and budget some more
Have you ever thought of what could happen if you budgeted for every little thing you decide to buy? You would definitely save more at the end of the day.
Take some time therefore and write down your holiday budget, with the money you currently have. In the same breath, account for everything, whether it is going upcountry or simply taking a holiday. If it is more than you can afford, cut it down or manage your expenses differently.
The purpose of this budget is to track where your money is going rather than waking up broke in January. Setting aside an amount that you only want to spend, will ultimately help you not to run into any unwanted expenses.
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Earn a little on the side
The Christmas season is one that is prolonged to almost the whole month. In the beginning of the month, you can use your skills and abilities to earn a little.
Maybe it is cooking you are good at. You can simply make money out of it by offering your catering services at parties, and other social events taking place. You could also use your skills and organize a social event. Could be that you are good at driving, get a car and offer to drop and pick people at a fee.
Take advantage of the festivities and earn a little that could actually push you through to the next year.
Avoid getting into debt
This is the season many of us travel upcountry. Many times, we want to show the people in the village what we have been up to in the city.
Getting into debt however, is not the best of ways to enjoy the holidays. Once we accomplish all these, we are left with the clear truth that we have debts we need to offset.
It is easy to get into debt and not keep track of what the total is until you get the bill. Always make sure that you can pay off the entire balance of the debt, before any interest accumulates. We live in a consumer-driven society and there is pressure to spend. There is however no shame in living within your means.
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Save up this season. To save money when you are to spend it the most seems like the weirdest advice. Trust me though, it will work. If you wait until January, your pockets will be empty by then.
Saving does not have to be your entire pay. However, depending on your budget, you can be able to put a little away.
If it is a gathering you were planning, rather than cater for the whole party, you can decide to do a potluck where people bring little amounts of food and drinks. If you are to fly upcountry or for the holiday, you can instead opt to take the bus. You can also cook at home for Christmas, rather than going to expensive restaurants.
To sum it all up, eat, drink and make merry in a way that will eventually leave you with more rather than less.