It can be tough sticking to a budget, especially at this time of year. Follow these tips to ensure you don’t spend beyond your means.
As the holiday spirit sets in, it can be easy to chuck the budget out the window and fly by the seat of your pants. But don’t spend the first half of the new year paying for reckless spending now – rather follow these tips to live within your means, while still having a fabulous festive season.
- CREATE A BUDGET
Step one is figuring out how much money you can actually afford to spend. There is going to be temptation at every turn at this time of year, so it’s important to know what you can afford to splurge on. If you’ve already got a monthly budget, don’t forget to factor in all those extras that come with the festive season. Do you plan to travel to see family? Will you need a bigger entertainment budget because you’re on holiday? Will you be hosting a lot of guests? How many gifts do you need to buy? If you’ve never done a budget before, there’s no time like the present! You can read here how to budget effectively.
- KEEP TRACK OF WHAT YOU SPEND
It’s easy to lose track of the little things, especially when you’re out of your usual routine. Whether you prefer carrying around a little notebook, or using a budget-tracking app, track every cent you spend. Those takeaway coffees, e-hailing taxi rides and too-good-to-be-true sale items can add up at a shocking rate! You can also download the RCS App to keep track of your RCS Store Card balance in real time.
- GO BACK TO CASH
It can be easy to lose track of what you’re spending if you’re splitting it between multiple cards and bank accounts. Once you know what your weekly budget is, consider drawing it as cash. Once you’ve used it up, you’ve run out of money to spend for that week.
- STICK TO THE LIST
As the holiday sales start, you’re going to face temptation at every turn! Before you hit the stores, figure out what you actually need – whether groceries or gifts – write it down, and stick to it!
- EAT AT HOME
Getting into the habit of eating out often is a quick way to watch your money disappear. Even if you’re going out for fun holiday activities, try to start the day with a solid breakfast at home, and pack some snacks for your time out to avoid getting peckish while on the run. If you do eat out, savour it as a treat.
Sticking to a budget takes some careful consideration and willpower, but future you will thank you for taking care of your financial health now. RCS offers a wealth of financial wellness resources – you can explore them here.