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How to enjoy the Easter weekend without blowing the budget

By Faeza
22 March 2016

money

With pricey family gatherings and Easter weekend shopping on the cards, it’s important that we continue to make wise financial decisions ...

This is according to Justin Taylor, Head of Operations at Wonga SA who says that consumers can make their hard earned rand go further by following these useful money tips:

1. Take note of your spending

It is important that consumers keep track of their expenses and understand where their money is going.

It may sound like a truism, but the first thing recommended to shoppers is to draw up a budget. A basic budget is simply a way to think about all the things you may need to buy. After adding up these costs, shoppers will get a quick indication as to whether they have enough cash to cover all your expenses.

Obligatory expenditures, such as rent, cannot be avoided, but consumers should make an effort to avoid spending on frivolous items, dining-out or on expensive and unnecessary entertainment, if it doesn’t fit your budget.

2. Avoid further credit

Where possible, pay for groceries and holiday accommodation with cash. While buying on managed credit is a good way to manage your cash flow, consumers are warned to use credit wisely and never to overspend.

Being unable to repay your debt will only result in a negative credit rating. A bad credit rating could also prevent consumers from getting a larger loan, such as a car- or home loan, in the future.

3. Compare prices

To get the best deal possible, always compare prices. There is a variety of ways to check and compare prices using the internet.

Use websites like Airbnb.com to check for the best prices on accommodation or visitGuzzle.co.za to get the lowest prices on luxury foods such as chocolates and Easter eggs. When it comes to saving money, the internet is the consumer’s ‘best friend’.

If you don’t have internet at home or access from your phone, make comparisons between various major retail outlets by going from store to store.

4. Think long term

Think of your long-term financial goals to motivate you to spend wisely. While it’s tempting, shoppers should opt not to spend their entire salary, or go into debt over the Easter weekend.

We need to be thinking about our financial needs in the future. Important financial goals like saving for a deposit on a first house, the arrival of a newborn, or your child’s tertiary education should be a first priority.

It’s equally important that parents don’t buckle under the effects of ‘pester power’. Parents shouldn’t compromise their financial well-being to keep up with the expectations or pressures associated with a costly happy holiday.

5. Be cautious when purchasing online

While shopping online can save money, it’s important that consumers remain cautious when making online purchases. It’s also important that shoppers update their online security settings and keep their personal information safe. When making an online transaction, shoppers need to be vigilant each and every time they shop by using only secure websites.

“The Easter weekend comes with a lot of excitement. It’s a great time for friends and family to reconnect. However, with the holidays our expenses often tend to soar as we spoil ourselves and our loved ones. It’s important that consumers make wise financial decisions that won’t leave them financially strained,” concludes Taylor.