By Marli Naidoo
Covid-19 and the lockdown have given most people’s wallets a beating, and many of us just feel like skipping Christmas this year. Of course, this isn’t possible. However, what is possible, is to plan and celebrate an affordable Christmas.
Plan ahead and in the finest detail. Your bank balance doesn’t need any surprises at this point in time. How much will and can you spend on food and gifts now?
With regard to gifts, it is important to buy with what you have, and not what you wish you had. Leave the credit card at home. It is easy to overspend when it’s not hard cash, and lie to yourself about the true state of affairs.
Gifts need not cost too much. We have been brain-washed to believe we are loved when someone buys us a gift, and the more expensive the gift, the greater the love. Can you believe that we believe and tolerate this lie? Hand-made gifts can be beautiful, and the time and effort that accompany the making thereof make them much more valuable than an expensive generic, bought gift.
Don’t feel bad to say “no”. If an expense is not viable or essential, you don’t need to agree to buy it. It doesn’t help if you try to keep everyone happy, and shoot yourself in the foot in the process.
Second-hand and charity shops sometimes hold wonderful treasures at a fraction of the original price, and the money you spend there will go to a worthy cause.
Your children need not receive 10 gifts each. One or two good gifts are quite sufficient.
Try a “Secret Santa” gift system, where each adult buys a gift for another adult at a set value. It’s unnecessary and very expensive to buy gifts for everyone.
Be on the lookout for bargains, and start your food purchases for Christmas now. Everything is extra expensive just before Christmas, and you will probably not get everything you need at discount if you don’t plan ahead and start right now.
Sell items that are just lying around and gathering dust. If you haven’t used them in the last year or two, you most probably never will. The extra money will come in handy.
Don’t spend thousands of rand on decorations. It won’t make for a happier Christmas.
It’s impossible to save money if you want to impress others. Forget their opinions and do wat you can afford. You will get through January and February easier if you manage December well.
Wise bread: https://www.wisebread.com/5-rules-for-planning-your-most-affordable-christmas-ever IOL: https://www.iol.co.za/personal-finance/my-money/covid-hits-christmas-2020-56-planning-to-cut-costs-21a34946-d1e6-4586-b0f6-5e73b5af9c90 Money Saving Expert: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/christmas-savings/ Tuppennys Fireplace: https://tuppennysfireplace.com/how-to-do-christmas-cheap/