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Last Updated
Wednesday 21 February 2018, 17:14 pm.
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My Money

Smart Holiday Spending
By OLEBILE MAKHUPE (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: My Money








Many of us will now be anticipating the advent of the holiday season with a mixture of excitement and apprehension: while we eagerly look forward to the time off from work or school, the physical, emotional and financial stress associated with this period can prove to be a mood dampener. However, with careful pre-holiday planning, you can reduce some of the stress associated with this period, and have a joyous, fun-filled holiday celebration, exactly the way it is supposed to be. With only two months to go before Christmas, most  people will be finalising their plans, and if you haven't done that yet, you may be running out of time. Here are a few tips on how to reduce some of the financial stress the holidays may bring:

* Plan in advance

We could spend all day talking about the benefits of planning ahead. Where and how are you spending your holidays? Will you need to drive, fly or are you taking public transport? Are you travelling alone? Can the cost be reduced by travelling with friends or family? If you are travelling to a place where you will need to stay in rented accommodation, the advantage of booking early is that you can benefit from 'early bird' discounts, which may sometimes include free food and drinks.

* Establish a budget

Once you know how you will be spending the holidays, set a budget for your travel expenses (if you are travelling), work out the accommodation expenses, get an estimate of how much you are likely to spend on food and drinks. Find out what social or recreational activities you are likely to engage in and what the cost will be.

* Start Saving Immediately

The sooner you start setting money aside to pay for your holiday expenses the less hurtful they will be to your pocket. The number of months you will need to save depends on the cost of your holiday and how much you are able to set aside on a regular basis.

* Life after the holidays

January is probably one of the longest months of the year, from a financial

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point of view. Most people get paid early in December, the pay cycle then follows the normal pattern as soon as the year starts.
Overspending in December can therefore start you off on the wrong footing in the new year. If there are confirmed expenses that you have to carry on a monthly basis, try paying all January dues in December, for example, the January rent and school fees can be paid off in December. Once you have these out of the way, you will then have a clear indication of how much you have left to carry you through January.

 * Number one resolution for new year: Be Money Smart

As you do your year-end reflection and set new goals to achieve in the new year, think about how you can enhance the way your money works for you in the coming year. Use lessons learnt from the previous year to influence your relationship with money . If you feel you were not saving enough, this would be the best time to correct that.  If there are any lingering debts that bother you from the previous year, plan to tackle them in the new year. There is a lot of free financial services and advice out there, take advantage of it.

*Enhancing your income

The new year presents you an opportunity to take stock and assess whether your income is sufficient or if you can employ other ways to make money legally. If you are good at a certain skill, can you use it to generate extra income?

 *Thinking ahead- next year's holiday

It is never too early to start planning a holiday, to ease the financial strain you may have suffered this year, start planning for your next holiday as soon as the year starts--- you will save thousands of Pula, and still have the holiday of your dreams. This would also be a good time to look at reputable holiday clubs.
Happy holidays!!!!!

Olebile Makhupe is the Head of Global Markets at Standard Chartered Bank Botswana. For feedback and contributions, please e-mail: mymoney@mmegi.bw

 

 

 

 

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Exchange Rates
FOREIGN EXCHANGE: Thursday, 22 Feb 2018
FOREIGN / PULA
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1 USD = Pula   9.5057
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