There’s something about the warm and welcoming festive cheer in the air paired with the happy Christmas music blaring from every speaker in every shop that makes it so much easier to whip out your credit card and put the budget on the back-burner. However, while expensive gifts and decadent family feasts may seem like a great idea at the time, come January, you’ll almost certainly be wishing that you’d been a bit more careful with your cash.

Here are our top tips for avoiding debt this festive season without affecting the overall experience as a result.

Shop Online

Not only will you be able to steer clear of the frustrating queues at the mall, you’ll be able to compare different prices and specials, too. By shopping online, you instantly up your chances of getting the best possible deal and saving hundreds of rand at a time.

Share the Cost

If you’ll be having the entire family over for a festive feast at your house, ask everyone to contribute something.  This will add to the variety of what’s on the table and will help to reduce the strain on your pocket.

Put Your Credit Card Away

Do your best to work with the money that you’ve actually got in your bank account to make it through December, rather than reaching for your credit card. Doing so is possible by budgeting very strictly and knowing exactly how much money you have at your disposal for gifts, food, entertainment etc. Set limits and stick to them.

Don’t Bank on a Bonus

Times are tough right now and almost everyone is feeling the financial pinch. That’s why even if you’re used to receiving a sizeable bonus from your boss like clockwork every year, it’s probably not wise to bank on it. Budget according to your usual salary and if the bonus does come your way, well, BONUS!

Ultimately, the festive season is more about the precious time that you spend with your family rather than the material things under the tree. Let’s all make an effort to focus on making memories… not debt!

Happy holidays from the team at SAEWA!