Money Management

Shopping for the Holidays: Gifts and Home Edition

By  Nguhiden Jessica Gar

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Happy holidays everyone! Yes, it is that most wonderful time of the year when you plan your finances around gifts, food, holiday essentials, and all of that, and if you are in Nigeria, or anywhere in the world for that matter, you will definitely be in a position of tight finances as you spend during this season and wait impatiently for your next salary at the end of January.

Well, you need to know that you don’t have to spend so much on the holidays then stay broke while you wait to get paid. There is always a better way to do these things, and that goes for shopping for the holidays, whether it is for gifts or for the home.

Shopping for the Holidays: Gifts Edition

What to get for who is always a big question in this season. (It is also a big question on birthdays, anniversaries, and special moments like Valentine’s, but let’s not think about that now). How expensive does the gift have to be? Must you get that thing they like the most, no matter how expensive it is? Do you even have to get a gift at all, especially when they will just get you candles and soap?

Well, this season is the season of giving, of sharing. The nice thing to do would be to get a gift but do so within whatever room your finances have given you. So,

  • What do they like to do? – What are your kids’ hobbies? What kind of music does Dad like? Is your spouse or partner a sherry or brandy person? Does your sister enjoy traveling? Knowing what people like will help to guide your decision in the gifts you will buy and how much you can spend on them.
  • Be creative – Has it ever occurred to you that you can do more with less? Have you ever thought that ‘thought’ may count more than how much the gift cost? There are so many budget-friendly things that you can get for your loved ones that are at once thoughtful and valuable. That’s why you have the internet. And Pinterest. And Etsy.

Shopping for the Holidays: Home Edition

Shopping during the holidays is a very tricky business. We have Black Friday. We have Cyber Monday. We have ridiculous Christmas discounts that are too tantalizing to ignore. And we forget that after all is said and done, there is still life after this season. So, when shopping (be it online or at the brick-and-mortar store):

  • Make a list before you leave the house – Let that list guide your decisions when you get to the store. Anything not on the list probably need not be bought.
  • Make a budget. Stick to it! – Your list should have prices on it, and if you are not sure of what some items cost, make an estimate. You should have a budget that you will not exceed no matter what, and if you have some change, hurray! Maybe you should save 80% of it.
  • Always remember: there is life after the holidays – If you have a fixed income that comes at a specific time of the month, always have this at the back of your mind. Know that, after the holidays, you will still need to eat, to transport yourself, and to deal with several things that may come up that you can’t dip into your savings or emergency fund for.

Spend wisely these holidays and enjoy a stress-free January.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is not intended to encourage any lifestyle changes without careful consideration and consultation with a qualified professional. This article is for reference purposes only, is generic in nature, is not intended as individual advice and is not financial or legal advice.

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