If the past years’ retail shopping patterns are anything to go by, most of these funds will go towards shopping for Christmas gifts, travelling, and consumers being able to finally afford the items they have longed to get during the year.
Ideally, a portion of these windfall funds should be saved and consumers are encouraged to do so, as this extra income will alleviate some of the New Year pressures such as paying school fees and other related expenses.
While everyone shares in the festive spirit, Geoffrey Lee, Head of Absa Card, shares some savvy tips on smart festive season spending:
- Create a budget for festive season spending, prepare a shopping list and stick to it. This includes the gifts, spending on food, drinks and socialising.
- Buy what you can ahead of time – last minute shopping can leave you with limited options, which can result in you paying more than you can afford.
- Buy food and groceries in bulk – many retailers are discounting their prices during the festive season, and there are good deals on offer.
- Say no to FOMO. Do not succumb to spending pressure – even from your children or close family – which will result in you spending more than you can really afford.
- If you have been collecting store coupons and loyalty club points throughout the year, cash them in and use them during festive season.
- If you use a credit card, try your best to settle the balance in full when the bill arrives in the New Year. Generally, credit cards are an expensive way to borrow money – and store cards are even worse, given that they generally charge higher interest rates.
- Consider giving shopping vouchers or store credits as Christmas gifts.
- If you can, don’t touch your rainy day savings over the festive season.
“While we understand that festive season is a time for giving and perhaps taking that needed time out to unwind, it is important that consumers are savvy with their festive season to embrace the New Year in great financial standing,” concludes Lee.