What’s for Christmas aka planning Ahead

With any special occasion it is always easy to get carried away and blow your budget. To avoid this decide in advance the type of celebration you want

You may decide to stay at home and have a special meal with family and friends. You may want to go out and be part of an elaborate buffet meal at a restaurant or you might want to get together with a few friends and put money together for a big party. Whatever you decide to do. You need to know well in advance so as not to be blindsided.

Always decide how much money you are willing to allocate toward your celebration and stick to it! Also

Write things down

For so many of us, our memories can be unreliable. So if you fall in this group (or even if you do not) writing things down is always a good move. Keep notes on what you would like to eat, what gifts you would like to buy, where to buy things and so on and so forth. Keep this list on your phone. And then refer to it every time someone is selling the same or a similar item in your social circles. Add their contact details and the prices.

Also, keep an eye on sales and discounts of items on your list. This will help you keep to the budget and to get the best deals you can for your celebration.

Make some preliminary trips

Before you go on the final shopping trip make a few preliminary trips to your favorite shopping venues. Take note of the prices at one or more stores. Return home without buying anything (if possible) and decide which products to buy on your final shopping trip. Or which ones to exclude.

Do keep an eye on those sales and discount end dates.

Plan and then act

The planning part means setting a financial goal and then creating a financial roadmap. Which is basically a to-do list with the cost. Also known as a budget. Nothing spoils the celebrations more than an out of control spending spree.

The acting part is really all the steps you will take to reach your goal. It is nothing more than keeping to your plan. Beginning by setting aside the money you will need and that you budgeted for and then spending it on what it was meant you for.

Remember to shop alone as children (or friends) can influence you to spend extra money. It can seem a little mean especially to the children if you have any, but it will save you money as it can be a real battle to not buy a cute outfit for your child while they are standing right there or a toy they pick up and ask for very sweetly.

Joining together with a group of friends, shopping for a fancy meal or finding a place to celebrate if not planned well in advance can end in you spending more money than necessary.

Kwachalelo

A Zambian site sharing quick read articles around work, money and adulting life with selective interviews and quotes.
The founder, editor and lead writer who left university with a good grasp of public administration, economics, money, banking and international relations is also qualified in journalism and creative writing. She has been published in Drum and The BBC Focus on Africa Magazine and has been featured in several local and international publications.
An avid bird watcher with an extraordinary fondness for chikanda ( a Zambian delicatessen that vegans and non-vegans world-wide are putting on their bucket list ) she often tweets in poetry and short prose @kwachalelo