1. Your December paycheck may have to stretch
If you get paid early in December the money has to last until the end of January. It could be a long 6 weeks until the next paycheck if you don’t plan your expenses.
Draw up a budget to see what you can afford, and know the difference between your wants and needs. Only then should you budget for holiday expenses such as accommodation and travelling.
Remember that around mid-January you can expect a new wave of expenses in the form of school fees, stationery and uniforms. Buy these before going away or save for it.
Tip: Use our app to check your transactions on the go and always know how much money you have left and what you’ve spent.
2. Surprise yourself and spend less
Don’t overspend in December. Many people use the holidays as an excuse to run up debts by buying expensive gifts or overspending on entertainment.
But when the gifts and parties are gone, the debt will still be there.
Tip: Be strict with yourself, your friends and family. Set the boundaries and make it clear that you’re cutting your expenses this year.
3. Budget for debit orders
If you miss a payment because of insufficient funds in December, some debit orders could be doubled in January, which in turn could lead to other debit orders not being paid.
To start with, this could have an immediate negative effect on your credit score. Your insurance policies could also lapse if the debit orders don’t go off a second time and then you could lose your insurance cover.
Tip: Ensure there’s enough money in your bank account to cover all your debit orders, especially if your pay date and debit order collection date differ.
4. Make the most of your bonus
Plan ahead to use a portion of your bonus, or any extra cash you may get, to pay off debts and save some money. A bonus can help boost your retirement fund or help you save for a deposit on a car or property.
Tip: Putting money away in an emergency fund can be a lifeline in a crisis – the more you save, the less you need to consider credit to help with cash flow.
5. Keep your cash safe
We make more cash withdrawals during the holidays. It also means higher risks of cash robberies and card swapping, especially at ATMs.
Tip: Rather draw money at supermarket tills. Paying with your bank card is also safer than carrying a lot of cash.