5 ways to keep your finances healthy this holiday season

Stian De Witt
1 December 2022
2 min read

‘Tis the season to be jolly – but for many South African consumers, the holiday season also spells dark times for their finances, as they over-spend their budgets and create unwanted debts.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. By doing some smart planning now, you can have the December holiday you want without the New Year’s financial hangover.

Don’t fall into the Black Friday trap

Black Friday is one of the greatest budget breakers known to humankind. Don’t buy things you don’t really need, using money you don’t really have. Know what you need, compare prices and quality, and if you are going to buy something, make sure it is something that you really need. Don’t buy stuff just because it looks like a good deal.

Have a festive season budget

If you’re going to survive the festive season, you need a budget. List all your income and expenses, see how much you have left – and then plan how to spend that money carefully. Having a budget is key to taking control of your finances. It sets boundaries and tells you how much you have available. Just remember to add all your expenses – even the hidden ones like bank charges. That way you will minimise those unexpected surprises.

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’.

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.

Speak to a professional financial advisor

In the healthcare industry, ‘early detection saves lives’. It’s the same in the financial world. Getting an early grip on your finances can save your financial well-being in the long run. Speaking to a qualified financial advisor can put everything into perspective. They can help you to set realistic long- and short-term financial goals so that you can experience true financial freedom.

The NMG SA Group of Companies are authorised financial service providers t/a NMG Benefits


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