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A guide to navigating festive spending temptations

by T N
2 minutes read

As the festive season cheers draw closer, it is crucial to approach the festive season with a mindful strategy to ensure your spending aligns with your financial goals.

In the below article, Stian De Witt, Executive Head of Financial Planning at NMG Benefits shares important financial planning tips to help make responsible spending decisions.

Create a budget and stick to It

To prevent overspending, establish a clear budget for your festive shopping. Determine the amount you can comfortably allocate without jeopardising your overall financial stability heading into the new year. Consider factoring in essential expenses, savings goals, and any upcoming financial commitments. Having a budget will serve as a guide, helping you prioritise spending and avoid unnecessary purchases. Remember: if you are paid earlier than normal, your money would need to last a week or two extra

Is it a need vs a want?

The festive season is synonymous with bargains and savings, but it’s essential to recognise the potential pitfalls. Before diving into the shopping frenzy, take a moment to reflect on your financial situation and set realistic spending limits.

Shop with your head, not your heart

The festive season is an expensive time of the year. It’s not just Christmas gifts: it’s also school uniforms, stationery and books. “Don’t get swept away by the holiday spirit. Make realistic, rational financial decisions, and differentiate between your ‘wants’ and your ‘needs’,” says de Witt.

Avoid the debt trap

Right now, it’s estimated that South Africans spend more than 80% of their incomes paying off debt, leaving only 20% to cover the rest of their household expenses. “Once you are over-indebted, it is extremely difficult to get your head above water again. This happens so easily if you don’t monitor and track your income and expenses – especially during the festive season,” says de Witt.

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