Avoid impulse spending this festive season

A few have joked that this is the season where one steps outside to buy a loaf of bread and never comes back or comes in with loads of shopping, or one steps out to buy this newspaper in Nairobi and finds himself in Mombasa after hours. It is a season to make merry given that it is the culmination of the year which also has many free days.

It is also the pre-season to January which looks like the longest month in a year. This season only has a few days and demands, but what follows it is ultimatums for rent, school fees, shopping and other bills. If one fails to be watchful, they may end up overspending during this season and having countless financial regrets and commencing the New Year with a cash deficit.

To survive the vices that come with overspending, it is important for one to have a budget. This should be a breakdown of how one needs to spend their money between now and the end of January. All the money that one has should be allocated to a particular activity.

Money for food or school uniform should not be used to buy clothes or for entertainment, and the vice versa. It is also crucial to have an expenditure plan. By so doing, one will not spot a good shoe or sumptuous meals and go for them if they are not in the expenditure plan. One may also consider settling the most basic bills as early as now.

To further avoid impulse spending, it is prudent to find substitutes for relishing this season. Spending time at religious premises, with family or with a long-lost friend will need less money if any as opposed to travelling or taking that unprecedented vacation.

One should adopt saying “no” with a strong conviction to things or friends who may sway them into deviating from their budgets or expenditure plans. Better planning for resources at this time will make January an easy month to handle. Remember, you can not budget for what you do not have yet, but you can still have a merry festive season.

A redacted version of this article has been published on The Standard by the same author