By Emsie Martin
You probably cannot wait to welcome the holiday season and for many it is just around the corner. You are relieved that we are on level 1 of the lockdown and that this year is going to end soon. Even if you are perhaps going to get a bonus this year, which did not happen last year – don’t get reckless and give your current and future financial position a further knock.
This year was difficult enough and therefore it is unnecessary to “unknowingly” make things unfavourable for yourself. During this period you should keep your wits about you, not spend unnecessarily and be aware of anything that could affect your finances negatively.
Carla Oberholzer, debt adviser at DebtSafe, says: “The festive season should be quality time with your loved ones. The year of 2021 was not moonlight and roses at all and because quality time and lasting, special moments are within reach, it does not mean that you have to stretch your purse and nerves in the process.”
Here are five important money-related things to keep in mind this season:
- Do not spend money you don’t have. Do not deviate from your total holiday budget. Forget about all the new holiday clothes, last year’s holiday clothes will do. Let your family members do their bit by taking the holiday period and the cost into consideration.
- Although it is a time to give, expensive gifts are unnecessary. What about a close hug, a handmade card or that affordable “something small” to cheer up a loved one’s day? Or you can besluit om nie geskenke te koop nie. Kwaliteit tyd with your loved ones is more precious than any material item.
- Keep festive dishes affordable. Make finger-licking dishes but don’t go overboard with the amount of food or ingredients that you think you are going to need. And, if possible – work with what you already have at hand, keep it simple, keep it affordable.
- If your festivities include a break-away:
- stay within your budget;
- stick to affordable activities;
- avoid long trips to save on the cost of fuel;
- consider the best and most reasonable tour options;
- try self-care options;
- go camping;
- use reward points during your stay or excursions; and
- if you are already 60, certain establishments have discount prices, so make sure you arrange you break-away to coincide with these discount times if at all possible.
- Rest, but do not give up. It does not matter what plans you had for the year, self-care is a very important goal you should keep in mind during this holiday season. This includes not to get anxious about your financial situation and to take the necessary precautions. After the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic you need rest and a time of reflection.
If you realise that you are already knee-deep in debt, now is not the time to simply sit back and see what happens. Don’t be disheartened, rather be proactive and resolve your debt predicament as soon as possible.
Professional individuals are available to help you with your financial goals. Why wait? Don’t tackle this road on your own – talk to your banker, financial planner, or a registered debt counsellor to get your finances going again.
Grant yourself a bit of happiness and enjoy the holiday season in a responsible yet fulfilling way. Remember: do not spend what you cannot afford. You definitely do not want to take that stressful route.
If you are a person who likes to look for solutions to other people’s money problems, do visit Solidarity Guild for Financial Occupations, which focuses on connecting professional people who offer services in the financial industry, and being the watchdog that tackles hotspots in the profession with workable solutions. The Occupational Guild for Financial Practitioners offers members a network through which members can contact one another, share best practises and do business. Visit https://gildes.solidariteit.co.za/finansies/
Carla Oberholzer DebtSafe email: firstname.lastname@example.org or SMS your name and surname to 30898 (free SMS).