Six Ways to Spend Smartly This Christmas


    The Christmas holidays can be a time when one’s tempted to overspend. It’s for this reason, Rose Miller, lead for Financial Empowerment programmes at the JN Foundation is cautioning persons to be alert and frugal at this time of year, so they are not easily lured or enticed. She provided the following six tips that may help you wisely manage your spending this season:

    1. Make a budget and stick to it. List all of the gifts and other items you plan to buy, the family gathering and parties you will attend and the travel expenses you anticipate. Decide how much you can afford to spend and stay within that limit
    2. Shop early and be careful when you spend. Avoid shopping in a hurry or while under pressure, this can lead to overspending.  Before you head to the cashier (or online checkout), make sure your purchase is within the budget you had set for yourself.
    3. Shop Smart: Giving a nice gift doesn’t have to mean spending a lot, so shop with your budget in mind. Make a note of all the places that offer discounts or competitive prices before going on your shopping adventure.
    4. Set expectations for your family. Have a conversation with your children about expectations for gifts and holiday activities. Be open with them if money is an issue. Depending on your child’s age, use this as an opportunity to teach them about the value of money and responsible spending.
    5. Revamp your gift policy for all adults:Be realistic. Does everyone on your gift list  really need a gift? The answer is as individual as your family and friends. But, be bold, start the conversation. You could set a budget limit, place a moratorium on gifts or implement some other alternative where you trade off gifts for quality time.
    6. Make It Yourself: Homemade gifts can be just as nice as store-bought gifts, and sometimes nicer. It’s possible also that these small, do-it-yourself gifts will be more meaningful to the people who receive them. Put your creativity to work, and knock off everyone on your gift list this Christmas!

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