How not to be broke this holiday season 🎄

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We’ll let this sink in for a moment: It’s almost December again…

Remember how rough it was last January, eating two-minute noodles for dinner because December was just too lekker? Not this year, folks! This year, we’re going to live our best lives without breaking the bank.

Here’s how.

Start planning now

There are still a couple of salary cycles left before the holiday fun begins. For the next two months, try to live as frugally as possible and save.

Use 22seven to see what your basic expenses are per month, so you have a good idea of what you’ll need to cover in January 2023. Put some money away for that. Afterwards, start allocating some of your leftover money towards the discretionary expenses for December — any holidays, outings or parties you have planned. That way, your December salary (and bonus) won’t have to cover all your December expenses.

Take a time machine to the future

Money doesn’t have to be a guessing game. Use 22seven’s future budgeting tool to work out ahead of time how much you’ll have for gifts, food and entertainment this December once you’ve covered all your monthly expenses. No more credit card scares, and no more Janu-worry when you somehow have to pay all your bills…

It’s the thought that counts

Gifts are one of the biggest holiday expenses, but there’s no need to splurge. There are so many cost-effective ways to show how much you care about the people in your life. Shop second-hand, for example, or check out all the thrifting sites popping up online. Make a gift yourself, write your loved ones a heartfelt letter, cook a friend a nice meal…

Some 22seven team members have strict rules in their families when it comes to gifts. These include:

  • All gifts should be under R150.
  • Only buy gifts for immediate family members.
  • Only the children get gifts.
  • Each person gets a gift-buddy — that way you only have to buy for one person.

Be mindful of your spending

Most of the time, the feelings of regret and stress that come with the holidays arise because we spend far more than we should. At the end of December, the money’s gone and we have almost nothing to show for it.

But it doesn’t have to be like that! If you’re mindful of your spending and you budget for the fun you want to have, then you can enjoy yourself without the guilt.

Give this a try:

  • List the activities you want to enjoy, budget for them, and stick to only those activities.
  • Set a strict grocery limit so you don’t roam the aisles and spend thousands on fancy holiday food you don’t even like. (Fruit cake, seriously?)
  • Start shopping for the holidays now. That way you have time to think about what you’re buying, you can spread your spend, and you can avoid overspending in the frenzy of end-of-year sales.

Sit back and enjoy

If you have your spending planned out, budgeted for and under control, your holiday season will be filled with what matters most — quality time with your friends and family. And then, as everyone struggles to survive January with a spending hangover, you’ll be able to set your sights on the year ahead, ready for any challenges life throws your way.