For most Christmas is, unfortunately, the most expensive time of the year. A recent study conducted by Wonga SA has revealed that South Africans spend an average of R5 706 EACH over the festive season. The chances of us overspending this festive season are even higher after the tough year we faced thanks to the pandemic. This might be the only chance some of us get to see our family this year, so the urge to spoil them is stronger than usual.

This is why, more than ever, it’s important that we talk to our family and loved ones about the cost of Christmas.

Talk to your loved ones

We want to spoil our loved ones during Christmas, this is a tradition that most of us fall prey to. The problem is the extent we go to.

Work out how much you can spend on each of your loved ones, a budget that won’t lead you into financial trouble, and talk to the people you plan on giving gifts to about how much you will be able to spend.

We know that many of us is probably too embarrassed to chat about this. It’s important to remember that many of us are struggling this December and if you splurge on gifts others might feel the pressure to do the same for you.

Remember that Christmas is not about what you can buy, it’s more important that you are able to spend valuable time with loved ones.

Make a budget and stick to it

With the possibility of a harsher lockdown during Christmas, we aren’t sure whether we’ll be able to spend the season with anyone other than our immediate household and this makes budgeting difficult.

Even though planning might be trickier, it remains important that we at least try to create a Christmas budget. To begin, make a list of family members and friends that you will be buying a gift for and how much you will spend on each of them.

If you are hosting a dinner, plan how many people will be coming over and how much you will be spending on food and drink. Consider asking everyone who comes over to contribute to the dinner, whether it’s drinks or a salad, each bit helps.

Most importantly once you have your budget stick to it!

Look for cheaper alternatives

Don’t be afraid to hunt on bidorbuy or at Cash Crusaders for good-as-new second-hand gifts. If you’re good with your hands, a handmade gift is thoughtful and doesn’t need to be expensive. Or maybe you’re a pro at baking and have the skills, bake amazing treats for family and friends.

Cheap or even free does not mean that thought didn’t go into it.

Final thoughts

Sometimes, no matter how careful you are and no matter how hard you try to plan the festive season might throw unexpected expenses your way. If you need help to get through the festive season, reach out to SmartAdvance so that we can help you take care of the necessities.