The “silly season” is almost upon us and although this period is supposed to be joyous, many people stress about trying to give their families the perfect December holiday.
December Holiday and credit cards
Always try your best to refrain from paying holiday expenses with a credit card. However, paying by credit only makes sense if people pay off their credit card bills quickly and in full – with cash already saved up. If credit card bills are not paid in full immediately after purchases were made, you’ll be paying hundreds of rands extra in interest. Saving up for a holiday and paying cash, is the best option to establish and maintain healthy personal finances.
Determine the cost and set up a budget
People must start taking control of their holiday expenses by setting up a budget. This budget will include all the expenditures such as fuel, clothes, car hire, travel tickets etc. Set money aside for daily expenditure and add it into the budget.
Put a certain amount of money away every week or month towards a ‘holiday fund’. This way you are more committed to saving. A good idea is to start by involving the rest of the family and put spare coins in a money box every week and see how much money has been saved at the end of each week or month. The next step is to put even more cash in the money box. You’ll be surprised to see how much money you can save. Deposit the cash into a savings account every month to earn interest.
Reduce costs of your December holiday
There are many ways to have fun and it doesn’t have to break the bank. A holiday is a luxury. So, if you are staying home during the holidays, make a list of fun, free or cost-effective holiday activities for the whole family. If you decide to travel, book your flights and accommodation well in advance to make use of the large discounts when booking earlier.
Debt Review and holiday
When a person enters the debt review process, they don’t have access to credit cards. Therefore, if someone is desperate for a holiday, they need to save cash and plan well. This is where setting a budget becomes crucial. Remember to always add an extra 10% for unexpected expenses.
How to save money for your December holiday
It is now maybe a good time to cut costs. Refrain from eating at restaurants, take-away food and purchasing new clothes for the next few months.
Whether it takes a few weeks or a few years; when that dream holiday finally comes, it will be truly enjoyed and appreciated. Especially when goals were set, a plan was followed, a budget was followed and you have worked hard to stay out of debt.
Think of saving for this December holiday in the following way: For each take-away or eating out session that you rather make food at home, you will save enough money for one meal or more during your holiday. If you are going to eat 3 meals per day during your holiday of 7 days, there are 21 meals that you need to cater for. If you usually get take-away food or eat out once a week that gives you about 50 meals you can save on toward your holiday.