Holiday Hacks: cost-cutting tips part 1

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With the festive season in full swing, if you celebrate Christmas you are likely counting down the days. For many of us means last minute -shopping, planning lunch menus and buying food, and perhaps spending a little too much of our end of year bonus, if we are fortunate enough to receive one. Sometimes the thought of our ‘Janu-worry’ budget flashes into our minds, but we shrug it off with a jolly “buy now, worry later!” 

But it does not have to be that way, says Metropolitan’s Cebisa Mfenyana. “You can celebrate the holidays and still be financially savvy by thinking practically – celebrating should not result in financial worry.”

Mfenyana outlines 10 cost-cutting tips for Christmas that – little by little – will help you save, so that December holidays do not break the bank.

  1. That’s a wrap

It sounds like a frugal thing to do, but re-using wrapping paper really does save in the long run. So unwrap your presents carefully and don’t throw away those gift bags and ribbons – keep it all neatly stored and when the next birthday or Christmas comes up, you will already be sorted, minus the bill.

  1. Keep it secret

As much as gift-giving can be a joy, it can also cause a lot of stress, especially if you have planned to buy presents for your immediate and extended family, plus friends and neighbours! You might want to consider playing “Secret Santa”: each person in your family/friend circle who will be celebrating Christmas together draws a name from a hat – and then are tasked with (secretly) buying a gift for that one person. One of the rules should also be to set a budget for this gift, whether it be R150 or R300, for example.  In this way you can focus your attention on one person and put some effort into getting them something they will really appreciate – and save on both financial pressure and the stress of shopping for multiple people.

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