The festive season is almost upon us and is undoubtedly the biggest spend period every year. Over the past few years, I have heard people joking about the fact that the festive season no longer exists in Zimbabwe. This is just to show how it has increasingly become more of just ordinary days as opposed to years past when the festive season was abuzz with life. I recall last year noticing that only a handful of outlets even bothered to decorate their premises as they used to. It is not all surprising and this year might be worse because the economy is now crawling on all fours. As we approach, go through and emerge out of this upcoming festive season it is vital that you be extremely thrift. You must exercise extreme care in spending money – be reluctant to spend money unnecessarily! Here are some few pointers to take home:
Do Not Borrow To Spend
This is a universal principle but renew your appreciation of it this festive season. The temptation to spend will be there but this must only be done within your means. For as long as it is not within the confines of the money that you have then forget about it. Spend only what you have earned not what you have borrowed or rather do not borrow for the sole intention of spending. If you initially failed to earn enough money to spend on what you want what makes it any easier by borrowing? After borrowing you will still be faced with the uphill task of paying back the money. Be wise this festive season, do not borrow to spend.
Do Not Find Yourself In Compromising Environments
So I have highlighted the working principle of not borrowing to spend. Here is the next important habit you must adopt this festive season – do not put yourself in environments that will tempt you or force you to spend unnecessarily. Understand something about money; whenever you have it there is this high affinity to spend it. The mere knowledge of your having it screams for you to spend it. Thus, if you thoughtlessly find yourself in environments that are characterised by spending you might find yourself spending it. Suppose you are drinker right (most of you are); if you know you are susceptible to spending it is better to drink at home than at drinking joints. The former can instil a semblance of restraint whereas the latter can actually trigger unchecked spending. This principle is applicable to virtually any scenario – consciously and deliberately avoid being in places that can cause you to spend irresponsibly.
Put On Blinders
So far the two areas I have spoken about and every other area I will discuss herein are all tied into this one. Do not look at what the next person is doing and do not be carried away by what is happening around you. During the festive season, most people spend in ways that are meant to prove a point or to be noticed. There is a lot of unnecessary competition in spending where people want to outshine each other. I even recently heard someone saying that they have relatives staying in South Africa who rent expensive cars to come to flaunt here during the festive season. All this is borne out of the irrelevant need to be seen and regarded a certain way. As an individual, you know deep inside the goals and aspirations you have for your life. If you apply some of what I am saying herein it is quite possible you will be ridiculed or labelled as broke or whatever. Must that move you? Certainly not! After the festive season is over you will be enjoying a peaceful mind knowing you have all your financial goals on point. Be disciplined and focus on what is best for your life; do not spend to impress or to live up to people’s expectations. Zone in on your personal life and your financial goals; keep your blinders on this festive season!
Think Long Term
This upcoming festive season is a tiny portion of your future. Come January you will be having bill payments due and a whole lot of other expenses. Life will still need to move on and this festive season will be history. Always bear that in mind when you find your way through this festive season. Spend like you really know there is a tomorrow and that you cannot jeopardize that tomorrow because of momentary vain pleasures now.
Have Fun Cost-Effectively
I am not saying you must not have fun this festive season, not at all. What I am imploring you to do is to do it within your means in a cost-effective way. Let me give you an example. In September I went on trip to Victoria Falls with 5 acquaintances of mine. It was cheaper to fuel one car and drive there and we had an awesome time there. Had it just been one person footing all the expenses it would have been tasking. However, we pooled resources together as 6 individuals and the trip was so much easier and individually cheaper to go on. Why am I saying this? This is one way to cost-effectively have fun i.e. by pooling resources together as a group. There are several other ways you can think of but the bottom line is you must be cost-effective in whatever fun activities you will plan on this festive season.
Whether you are an individual or a family person, these habits are for you. Cultivate them in you and condition yourself starting now so that when the festive season gets into full throttle you will be armoured. Remember to be sensitive to the plight of other people during this festive season. It is wise to not just visit unannounced and for extended periods because you never know how grave some people’s financial situations are. Let us all enjoy responsibly!