How to create a holiday budget
The end of the year is almost here! We're excited to go on holiday, spend time with family, or even just get some rest at home. Some of us are hosting special occasions and looking forward to seeing everyone. It you're planning a trip or a holiday at the coast, you're going to need quite a bit of money to cover petrol, accommodation, and entertainment. Staying at home? You deserve to treat yourself and your family to a small feast and perhaps a braai or two with friends.
Are you already calculating the cost of this in your head? For many of us, the holidays are expensive. But, don't let this dampen your holiday spirit.
Let's look at a few ways to help you budget for the holidays.
List your holiday expenses
You need to know what you need money for, and the best way to find out is to make a list. It helps to make a list on your phone or even on good old paper. Common items you'll probably write down include food for Christmas lunch, gifts for the children, swimsuits for pool days, braai briquettes, Christmas tree decorations, gift wrapping paper, and petrol. When making this list, think about what your family typically needs around this time.
Allocate a budget to each expense
You can also divide your expenses up and decide how much you want to spend on each. For example, you might spend R1000 on food, R500 on toys, and R2000 on travel. If you find splitting up your costs into categories a challenge, particularly since you're using one bank account to manage all of your money, then try using your MyWORLD Pocket Accounts to budget for each expense. This makes it easier to track how much money you’ve allocated to each item and how much money you have left to spend.
Keep track of your budget
Once you've set up your budget, you'll need to monitor it to make sure money is allocated to the right expense. Of course, try to be flexible. You might find yourself spending a little more, for example, on an outing if the kids want lunch or something. What's important here is that you know exactly where your money went. The best way to do this is to use your African Bank App because you can download your statements on your phone.
Set a spending limit
If possible, set a limit to the amount of money you'd like to spend for the holidays. This doesn't have to be an exact number. You could give yourself a range in which you'd like to keep your spending. Try to give yourself some leeway. You never want to be overwhelmed or unprepared when an emergency comes up.
Have fun – it's the holidays!
Remember, don't be too hard on yourself. It's the holidays, after all, and we all deserve to have a little fun. As long you plan in advance, you'll be able to have a stress-free festive season.