Research shows that 76% of South Africans spend more than usual over the festive season. So, now is the time to prepare for summer spending with its traditional year-end shopping sprees and overindulgence. Why? Because it’s November already – how did that happen?
Forking out for food and drink
The same research, released in 2019, suggests that almost 40% of the extra money South Africans spend over the festive season goes towards what we eat and drink over that time. So, now that you know, you can prepare. Here’s how.
Start perusing the specials and doing some minor stockpiling ahead of the festive season. Make sure your freezer is full of half-off products and your cupboards are chockablock with discounted dry goods. What you spend on specials now will save you money on full-price food and drink later.
Get your gifts in order
Approximately 20% of your festive season budget is spent on buying gifts for family and friends. This is one area you can save yourself time and money by resisting the onslaught of advertising and start new alternative gifting traditions. Here are some ideas:
- Save R30 by getting crafty and making your own cards. Cut up old ones or use pictures from magazines you’ve got lying around.
- Give the gift of experience (instead of more stuff people don’t actually need), such as vouchers for quality time, walking adventures or playtime in a park.
- Limit your gift-buying to one gift by arranging a “Secret Santa” game with your family, friends and colleagues.
- Adopt a “gifts for kids only” policy among the adults in your family.
- Encourage your children to gift only good deeds such as washing the car or reading their younger siblings stories.
Enjoy alternative entertainment and travel
Visits to cinemas, shopping malls and restaurants as well as taking trips have become quite complicated since we started social distancing. So why not opt for outdoor activities near where you live instead? Save that remaining 40% of your summer overspend by remembering that the best things in life are free. When the weather allows, get outside and enjoy:
- Walking or hiking in natural environments near you
- Playing on free swings, slides and jungle gyms in the park
- Swimming, paddling or exploring rock pools
- Games in your garden or any public patch of grass
- Picnics, camping close to home or a braai.
Prepare and protect your finances
Whether you are financially secure or finding your feet after a financial crisis, control your summer spending and aim to actually save yourself money. You can check your financial wellbeing by taking our quick and easy quiz. Don’t get into debt (or more debt) in December by sticking to your usual monthly spend – use our free budget planner to keep you on track.