The times are particularly hard for many people this year. This is partly due to inflationary pressures that have built up especially now that Christmas and New Year festivities are approaching. This coupled with the depreciating Malawi Kwacha, it seems the road ahead will remain bumpy for a considerable period of time.
So what does this tell us about our finance management behaviour during the festive season? I can bet you, this is no year to play with your hard-earned money. Take a long and deep breath before you can spoil yourself, friends and family – of course do enjoy life for its own sake but do not lose yourself. You see, if you sometimes drink your head off, this is the time to reflect on your over-limit line. Do not cross that line because you will certainly look older with stress come mid-January next year.
I have some free advice for you. The tradition of overspending and excessive gift buying during Christmas and New year time can leave you indebted and with a sense of frustration and disappointment. Spending
too much during any festive season can create misery. But doing it this year will simply murder you.
For people on low incomes or tight budgets, Christmas can be a difficult time of the year. As Christmas is hours away, our thoughts could be on celebration and gifts. Most of us enjoy family gatherings, meeting friends and exchanging presents, but unfortunately, in our modern society, Christmas comes at a price. It requires spending considerable sums of money and, for many, puts strain on an already-stretched budget.
You see, giving gifts to friends and other loved ones offers one a good feeling, but when you still have to pay for those gifts in the new year it takes away some of the pleasure in giving it.
How can we then ensure that our spending does not get out of control during the festive season? Just three pieces of advice:
First, do not borrow money to spoil yourself, friends, and family unless you have determined the ease of its repayment. In the current economic hiccups, repaying credit might be more difficult than in the
Second, have enough fuel in your tank – not for trotting to different drinking joints – but accidents do happen during festive season and you don’t want to be found destitute when a family member or friend
needs urgent help. If you don’t have a car, then have some phone credit handy and a few taxi numbers in case you need to call for one at any point.
Lastly, consider not eating out on Christmas day or New Year’s. A home-cooked meal costs much less and is much tastier (and healthier) than a restaurant meal – I know hotel and restaurant owners will hang
me for this – so visit them if you can afford it. Better still, just go to your local prayer house and fast on Christmas and New Year’s Day – but do the fasting alone without forcing your spouse and children to
Have a blessed worry-free Christmas and prosperous New Year!!