Resist temptation of festive season splurge

Thuli Zungu Consumer Line
Resist temptation of festive season splurge.
Resist temptation of festive season splurge.
Image: 123RF/mangostar

The year 2018 has been a year of doom and gloom for the SA economy with the rand falling, value-added tax increases, and petrol price hikes sending the cost of living sky high.

For those who will get a Christmas bonus, it will certainly provide a cushion. However, some consumers have already turned to credit to fund their lifestyles.

As we enter what has been dubbed the "silly season", it is more important to exercise caution and avoid getting ourselves into the debt trap.

Nthabiseng Moloi, MiWay Insurance head of marketing and brand, said whichever way you look at it, December is likely to be a costlier month. So, instead of blowing the budget, she advises consumers to rework their budgets to incorporate attainable financial goals.

"That way you will not simply discard your budget and write it off as December damage, but rather work towards a slightly amended goal that incorporates some festive frivolity, she said.

Before you plunge deeper into debt, here are a few tips to help you steer clear of trouble:

  • Use any additional funds to pay off credit cards, store accounts and home loans. This will help you ease into the New Year on a strong financial footing than splurging on expensive festive gifts;
  • If you are heading away on holiday, you should plan how much you will spend, rather than swiping at any given moment;
  • Before buying anything this holiday season, simply ask yourself whether you can really afford the purchase and make your purchase decisions based solely on your answer; and
  • The final month of the year is also a great time to start looking into the future and to apply changes that you may have experienced in the past 12 months to your 2019 budget.

Moloi said with the financial outlook for 2019 looking decidedly rosier than that of its predecessor, now is the perfect time to get your own accounts in order and ensure that you start the New Year on a firm financial footing.

She added that by committing to your financial wellbeing and planning accordingly, you will be far better placed to dial down the debt and start making your money work for you.

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