Smart spending tips this holiday


It is the most wonderful and arguably expensive time of the year as we kick back, recover and enjoy the holidays with our loved ones, waiting for our busy life to begin again in January.

But before you go all out shopping, holidaying and buying gifts for loved ones, consider these helpful tips.

Set a price limit for each person

It’s true that love knows no bounds, especially the love we have for our closest family and friends.

However, when expressing this love with purchased goods, it is important that we stick to our budgetary limits.

Financial discipline during this holiday period will go a long way in kick-starting your new year without money-related stress.

You don’t have to sing the ‘njaanuary’ anthem at the beginning of each year due to poor financial decisions.

Identify who you want to gift, what gifts you want to get them, and how much each will cost, then cross-check with the amount you are willing to spend and stick to it.

Remember, do not spend more than ninety per cent of your salary and do not spend more than what you earn.

Avoid last-minute shopping sprees

With a few days left to Christmas and New Year celebrations, be proactive and take advantage of the deals that malls and gift shops across the country are offering and save your money.

To ensure that you are not caught up on last-minute shopping, draw a shopping list and where you think you can find the particulars that you are looking for, then go shopping today.

You can also break down your shopping list such that you pick a few items each day provided that you are done by the 24th or 30th of December.

Last-minute shopping can be expensive due to on-demand price surges; therefore the best time to do your Christmas and New Year's shopping is now.

Shop using your financial services provider's Christmas rewards coupons

The majority of financial services providers are offering great rewards on their debit and credit cards, take advantage of what your respective bank is offering and save money.

For those with no access to banks’ services, you can use credit providers such as Tala which offers you the freedom to pick your own due date for your loan, hence avoiding financial stress at the end of the holidays.

Keep the little costs in mind

While budgeting for the festive season, set aside miscellaneous funds to cater for items such as mpesa charges on your payments, shipping costs for those who have ordered gifts from abroad, wrapping paper, carrier bag costs etc.

These small costs often add up to large amounts, therefore it is important that you take this into consideration to avoid going overboard with your budget.

Check your account statements and stay on track

It is common for people to avoid checking their account statements, especially during spending-heavy periods like Christmas and new years parties to avoid ‘distracting’ themselves from the celebrations.

Financial ignorance, especially on the outlook of your balances is not Bliss.

As you shop and spend, keep checking your account statements, to ensure you are sticking within your financial boundaries.

While we have earned this celebratory period, especially for our resilience during post-pandemic economic stress in addition to the hectic electioneering period, let us stay financially disciplined to start the New Year stress-free.

Remember, staying within budget during the holidays is difficult, be patient with yourself, however, it is even more difficult to start the New Year with no financial footing and mounting bills that are due in January.

Ms Mumbi is Director, Growth, Tala EA.

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