December is that time of the year where anything goes. But amidst all the fun and festivities there is one thing nobody likes to see going. Money. So how can you go about enjoying this festive season without running out of money? We’ve got 18 ways for you to budget, save and even make money this festive season.
How to budget this festive season
Budgeting is an important part of being financially responsible. It is something that you should be doing every month. But December is where drawing up a budget is most important because you’re either going to be getting your salary earlier than usual and/or you are expecting a bonus.
Here are 3 ways you can budget this festive season:
1. Plan what you are going to be spending your money on
At this time of the year, it is important that you make sure all your necessities are paid for. Before you use your money to enjoy the festivities, draw up a list of necessities and luxuries.
Necessities include rent, credit installments, utility bills, school fees, groceries etc. Luxuries include new clothing, alcohol, holiday money, gifts etc.
Make sure all of your necessities are paid before anything else. It’s the best way to ensure that you don’t have to worry about your financial obligations come the end of the year.
That’s the purpose of budgeting.
2. Track your spending
It’s one thing to draw up a budget for December but it's another thing to actually ensure you are sticking to it.
Once you’ve drawn up your budget and paid all your debts, we advise that you keep track of your daily and/or weekly expenses. Keep your receipts, check your bank transactions. This way you can keep track of the money leaving your wallet and prevent yourself from overspending and ruining this month’s and next month’s budget.
3. Control your spending
Just because you’re keeping track of your expenses doesn’t mean you should spend all the money you’ve got to your name. Make sure that you spend within your financial means.
If you’ve already been saving for the end of the year, now is the time to use your designated end-of-year savings fund. But if you haven’t saved for December you will have to find ways to make and use money elsewhere so that you can continue to celebrate the festivities without breaking the bank.
How to save money this festive season
4. Choose quality time over expensive gifts
The best present you can give someone this festive season is your presence. For some, spending quality time is much more appreciated than receiving a physical gift. In that way you are able to save money that would have been spent on buying a gift instead of intentionally spending time with that person.
5. Give fewer gifts
Almost everyone is aware of the financial constraints we have faced this year so not receiving a gift from someone may be accepted. Use this to your advantage and save on buying gifts for all your cousins, aunties, neighbours, that one man that works with your uncle that you see every Christmas. It’s important that you spend your gift money wisely and only gift those you are most appreciative of this year.
6. Resist retail marketing schemes
Last year, the average South African adult spent R6 5585 on Christmas gifts, a statistic that is hoping to drop to R4 432 as per surveys.
Don’t get wrapped up in all the sales and spending marketing schemes thrown your way. A philosophy which you can try when you are in the shopping mall, window shopping or even just browsing online stores: admire but don’t desire.
7. Use old gift cards
Try to remember where you put all those gift cards you were gifted months or years ago. Once you’ve located them, use them! Use them for yourself, for your friends, for your family. Make the most of them before they expire. Be sure that whatever you decide to send it on does not go beyond the value of the gift card.
8. Gift in groups
A big, expensive gift doesn’t have to be off the table just because you’re working with a budget this year. Instead, go halfsies with someone else. Get all your siblings in on buying one big gift for your parents. Ask your colleagues to club together for a nice gift card for your manager. Contact the parents in your kids’ class to put small items together to build a gift basket for your kids’ teacher.
9. Repurpose gifts
Repurposing old gifts is another way to regift things that are in your home but you’ve never used in the past and don’t see yourself using in the near future. This is the perfect way to get rid of the unnecessary items in your house while gifting someone with something that has never been used. It’s killing two birds with one stone.
10. Make presents
The way to steal someone’s heart is by putting in the effort to do so. A small, personal and memorable gift made from your own hands can mean so much more to the receiver than a large and expensive gift.
This festive season, use your skills and the resources around you to make the gift that will steal your beloved’s heart.
How to save money money with TymeBank this festive season
TymeBank is a bank for people by people. We understand that the festive season, like most of the year, has the ability to put strain on your pocket. But do not worry because with TymeBank, we have products and services to help you stretch your buck and earn rewards by doing what you do best… banking!
11. Banking services to make your save and earn
In less than 5 minutes, you can open a free TymeBank EveryDay account and be introduced to a world of affordable banking services. This is the perfect account to open as you try to cut down costs during the festive season.
12. Buy now, pay later with MoreTyme
To help you purchase that item or gift you’ve had your eyes on for the longest time, why not use MoreTyme?
MoreTyme is a TymeBank product where you get what you want immediately, and only pay for it in 3 interest-free installments. There’s no monthly fee and no fee when you buy, so you never have to pay more than the original price.
It’s the perfect way to alleviate the financial burden of using all your money now. Just make sure you pay your monthly installments.
13. Earn rewards with your TymeBank Credit Card
When you apply for and are approved for a TymeBank credit card, not only do you get up to 55 free-interest days to pay your full outstanding balance each month but you earn double Pick n Pay Smart Shopper points whenever you swipe.
In that way you can purchase things on credit, earn Smart Shopper points and get 55 days to pay your outstanding balance. With this, you can do your festive season shopping, save money and earn rewards for spending money all at once.
14. Overspending by buying online vouchers
When you buy online vouchers for Spotify Premium, Uber and UberEats using the TymeBank app or Internet Banking, you are less likely to spend extra money using these apps. This is another way that TymeBank is helping you save money this festive season. It’s also a simple way to show someone you care by ensuring they arrive home safely, are eating well, and enjoying good music. Even this is another great gift idea!
15. Stay in contact with your family and friends at no extra cost
Purchasing prepaid electricity, airtime, data and SMS bundles using the TymeBank App or Internet Banking does not come with any hidden fees. It is completely free! Meaning, you can stay within your airtime, data, SMS budget without losing touch with your friends and family.
And because the festive season is all about spending time with friends, family, and loved ones it is important that you make sure you reach out to them and tell them how much they mean to you.
16. SendMoney to loved ones for as little as R3
In the time of the year where everyone is spending time with their family, friends, and loved ones, not everyone has the luxury to do just that. While a phone call or text might be a valued interaction with the loved one you are far away from, the gift of spoiling them with something tangible might help make you feel closer to them. TymeBank wants to help to make that happen.
Using your TymeBank account, you can SendMoney to your love ones for the price of R3 (if they’re a TymeBank user too) and R7 (if they are not a TymeBank user). This can hopefully uplift the spirit of giving while saving you both time and money.
How to make money this festive season
17. Sell your stuff
That top you bought at the beginning of the year but just haven’t found the right opportunity to wear it this year? It’s time that it finds another home where it will be worn. That should be your philosophy when it comes to finding unused or used but still in good condition items that no longer serve you any real purpose.
The easiest way to get rid of your unwanted stuff and make a buck from it is to sell it. Online platforms such as Facebook and Instagram make it easy to resell your items. Other options include word of mouth, selling your items to a second hand store or selling it yourself at local markets. The possibilities are endless.
18. Side hustle your way through the festive season
In today’s day and age, there are many ways to hustle and make cash on the side. It could be as simple as selling your preloved items online, baking and selling baked goods, running errands for elderly people or even doing menial chores like washing cars, windows, cutting grass. Check out more side hustle ideas here.
If you follow all these ways to budget, save and make money, you might just find yourself to be in a good financial position to start the new year. Remember: January is the toughest month, financially. So make sure you are responsible with your December spending.
It’s easy to be short-sighted financially, but look at the bigger picture. If these 18 ways of budgeting, saving and making money work for you this December, what stops you from preparing now for next year’s festive season?
With TymeBank’s GoalSave, you can earn up to 8% interest on your savings. The longer you don’t touch your savings, the more interest it accrues.
So use these 18 tips to inform your financial behaviour this December and if you come out financially satisfied, then maybe it’s time for you to join TymeBank, South Africa’s first fully digital bank.