5 festive season shopping tips for 2017

shopping tipsshopping tips
shopping tipsshopping tips


5 festive season shopping tips for 2017

The festive season is here. It’s time to put out the decorations and look forward to all those public holidays. It’s the perfect time to spend time with both family and friends. The South African festive season means the sun is out and there’s so much you can do, whether you need to unwind after a long year by camping or you’re going on a fun roadtrip with your favourite people.

However, the festive season also means you’re going to be spending a lot of money. And not only on activities and ways to keep busy with all that time off. You’re also probably planning to do some shopping for gifts, which can seriously impact your monthly budget. If you’re lucky, you have a bonus to help you out with that. But even if you do get that 13th cheque, you still need to plan your spending in a way that won’t leave you suffering come January.

Which is why you should take into account the following festive season shopping tips. They’ll help you make it through to the new year without being in debt.  


Budget, budget, budget

Before you start writing that list of all the gifts you wish to buy, it’s important that you first work out your budget. You need to know for certain exactly how much money you can afford to spend on presents before you hit the stores. You can’t just go wild and spend everything you have and then get stuck when you can’t afford food until the next payday. Sit down and look at all your expenses for the month. You shouldn’t spend all the extra money. Be wise because, while the feeling of gift giving is great, that only lasts a moment.

You also need to budget for activities and all the extra food you’ll be buying (seriously, the festive season is known for food and lots of it). You need to think about every cent you’ll be spending and budget for it. And then, of course, you need to ensure that you don’t overspend. Yes, even if that means you have to tell your friends you can’t make it to dinner at that expensive restaurant overlooking the ocean. Your financial well-being is far more important. And you can still have fun on a budget.


Cut out the unnecessary gifts

You don’t need to buy everyone gifts. Sure, you want to spoil your loved ones to thank them for everything they’ve done for you. But you don’t need to buy acquaintances presents just because they invited you to their holiday parties. And if you have a tradition with friends where you all gather to exchange gifts, suggest secret Santa. That way, you’ll only have to buy one present and how much you spend will be limited to the amount you’ve all agreed upon.

And you don’t have to go all out on your child’s teacher’s end of year gift. You also don’t need to buy the most expensive bottle of wine to thank your hairdresser. Buy little, thoughtful gifts. But only for those you actually have to buy gifts for. It is, after all, the thought that counts.  


Prepare in advance

Don’t just go browsing the shops to buy gifts. First, sit down and put together a list of everything you want to give to certain people. And then look up the prices online. You don’t want to do your actual shopping online, though, because you can’t guarantee that the presents will arrive on time during the festive season.


Ask what people actually want as gifts

If you’re buying gifts for close friends or immediate family, ask them what they actually want as gifts. You don’t want them having to read up on store policies and the Consumer Protection Act regulations in order to return the gift you bought them. That’ll waste both of your time. And if you still want to keep it a surprise, you can ask them for a list of things they want (which also lets you choose the cheapest option) or you can ask someone close to them what they want.  


Don’t take out your credit card

Be careful. There’s always the temptation when you’re caught in the spirit of the season and you want to take out your credit card. Don’t do it. Think before you spend. You don’t want to start 2018 stuck in debt. It happens to so many people and it’s completely unnecessary. Don’t let this time of year dictate your finances for next year. You’ll regret it.


Remember, it’s not about how much you spend and what gifts you buy for people. It’s about spending time with loved ones.


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