The holiday shopping frenzy has begun! Most stores have a lot of discounts or promos this holiday season, and it’s the best time for shopping for gifts for our family, friends, relatives, inaanaks, and also for ourselves since, we have extra money to spend. However, this should not be an excuse to overspend and use your money like there is no tomorrow.
As a self-confessed kuripot when it comes to spending, here are some of my simple budgeting tips that you can follow to avoid overspending this holiday season.
1. Set limits.
My first budgeting tip? Set limits. Allot an amount that you will use for shopping this season. Consider things like the price and quantity of the things you plan to buy, and decide whether they’re really necessities.
Also, set a limit for your shopping budget and strictly follow it. If you say, “I’ll only spend 2,000 for grocery and a thousand for gifts,” then do so. Do not go way beyond your set budget or better yet, just bring only the exact budget with a little extra enough for the fare or snacks when shopping to avoid overspending. It is better to use cash than credit card, so you can only prepare and carry the exact budget you set.
2. Make a shopping list.
List down all the items you will buy before going out for shopping. Buy only what you have written on your list and essentials, like your everyday needs (toiletries, food). Do not impulsively buy clothes, shoes, or bags just because they are on sale. If you really have to buy one, make sure to buy something that is of good quality and worth the money you will spend.
3. Look for alternatives or go DIY.
Have alternatives before making decisions when it comes to money. For example, if you are thinking of throwing a Christmas party at work or at home, you can opt to cook your own dishes or make it a potluck event instead of ordering from a catering service. If you can save more by shopping online rather than going to the malls or save on DIY or customized gifts, then do so.
Be a wise spender. If you can bargain or negotiate for a lower price, then do so. Do not be shy to haggle; it is just being wise in using your money. If you cannot get a bargain in a specific store, then it is your right to go find another store to bargain again. Haggling is best done when shopping in tiangges or bazaars.
5. Save. Save. Save!
Do not spend all your bonuses or salary in one go. If you must, open a new savings account aside from your payroll account. According to an article from Yahoo Singapore, Hong Kong businessman (and self-made Billionaire!) Li Ka-Shing recommends that we have five sets of savings. The first one is for everyday expenses; the second one is for investing on networks and making friends, the third one is for learning and personal development; the third is for emergencies; the fourth one is for rewarding yourself by traveling and gaining new experiences overseas; and lastly, allot the fifth one for investments to make your money grow.