Christmas Saving Tips: Once more we are at that time of the year when the celebratory mood is so palpable you can touch it. Everyone is in good spirits as they travel upcountry to reunite with long-lost relatives and blow some steam.
The only thing that may hold people back is the proverbial Njaanuary; and it should. You don’t want to blow your savings in a fortnight of festivities only to end up suffering for the first three months of the new year.
It is therefore prudent that we look into ways we can cut back on costs but still have a good time. Here are a few tips to get you started.
- Make a Budget
Write down all you want to buy this Christmas; gifts, food, decorations etc. Having a shopping list will hold you back from impulsive shopping.
Writing down what you need to buy will also make you realize what you don’t really need to splash money on.
- Resist Offers
This is easier said than done. At this time of the year everything seems to be on sale. If not careful you may end up buying things you really have no use for.
If the offer is on something you had on your list, take advantage. If not, you may need to consider whether you can bear the extra cost.
When contemplating whether to take advantage of an offer or not, it is wise to view it this way; when you buy a washing machine on sale for Ksh, 25,000 instead of the usual Kshs 42,000, you have not SAVED Kshs. 17,000, you have SPENT Kshs. 25,000.
Do it yourself! We can easily get things done by ourselves if only we commit time for the same. Buy decorative paper and cut them up to make desired decorations.
Cut up a tree from your farm and decorate it, instead of hauling one that is exorbitantly priced form the supermarket.
The internet is full of websites that give free tutorials to help you gain skills on a wide variety of DIY projects.
- Hunt for Discounts
This may sound contradictory with our view on offers but it is not. Once you have your shopping list written up, go online and look for stores that offer the best prices of what you need.
Be careful to stick to a brand you are familiar with, at times cheap products will disintegrate right after you unpack. When trying new brands, it is advisable to seek opinions from people who have used the particular product.
- Use Loyalty Cards
This is the right time to redeem all those points you have been accumulating throughout the year. As always, ensure to redeem the points on products on your shopping list.
- Pay with Cash
Paying with cash has the psychological benefit of making you conscious of how much you are spending. On the other hand, you are less likely to feel the pinch when you simply swipe a credit card.
If you must pay with a credit card, ensure to load it with just enough to cater for your shopping. If your credit card company allows you to set a limit (most do), set a realistic cap.