Merry Christmas
Personal Finance

Quick & Easy Guide to Enjoying the Holidays Without Going Broke

Christmas is finally here! And in typical Nigerian style, it comes with lots of pomp and pageantry. The holiday season is one known for extravagant spending and joyous celebrations. January however, has 31 days before the next pay cheque arrives. You should be financially intelligent and create a budget for your holiday expenses, to avoid being that friend who begs for handouts or takes small loans at the beginning of the year pending when “salary comes”. You can kiss the fear of being broke in January goodbye by adopting these five easy steps:

Have a “holiday” budget

While it is great to reward yourself for all the hard work put in during the year, the absence of a holiday spending plan can make you overspend, leading to debts and misery in the New Year. Having a special budget helps you track and minimize your spending during this period.

Think of how much money you can afford to allocate from your income/salary to leisure activities, then create a budget for that amount, keeping in mind how much you’d need to comfortably live on in January. You can also keep yourself accountable by splitting your festive budget into daily spending limits that allows you spend only a certain amount per day.

Stick to the spending plan

You’ve created your budget, now what? You need to stick to it.

January is usually one of the longest months in the year, especially as salary does not come until month end. It is important you stick to the holiday budget you’ve created. It is also advisable you transfer the money reserved for January to a different bank account, so you don’t squander it in the spirit of merriments.

Remember that your budget is a plan to help you live your best live financially, therefore own it and stick to it.

Look out for holiday discounts and take advantage of them

With the holidays come lots of great deals and discounts, stores clearing out for the year sell stuff at giveaway prices. Some restaurants even offer discounts to customers who come in as a group. Look out for these opportunities and take advantage of them. You can also make enquiries beforehand, on the price list of eateries and other fun spots, to avoid being blindsided by the cost. Find out and go prepared.

Split the bill among friends

Hanging out with friends and loved ones is always fun, it is also a great way to reduce costs, as bills can be split equally among everyone. You enjoy great company while spending less than you would have ideally. It’s a win-win.

Also, be wary of friends that make you spend so much. This is the period to confidently utter these life-saving words “I can’t afford it.”

Assess your personal financials

Amidst the pomp and pageantry, find time to review your financials for 2017, look out for your total income, expenses and investments, was there a decrease or increase in any of them compared to the previous year? How much did you set aside in 2017 for creating future wealth, and how can you top that in 2018? Then set realistic financial goals for 2018 and start working towards them from the first day of the New Year.

What other tips are you adopting to ensure you spend wisely during this festive season?

This article originally appeared on BellaNaija

Chidinma Okoli is an Investment Professional working in the Private Equity/Venture Capital space during the day, and this blog at night!

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