New Era Newspaper Namibia

Last minute festive season shopping – budget tips

Staff Reporter

Windhoek-The festive season is here and it is natural that people plan for that perfect gift and to spoil themselves. However, consumers are encouraged to avoid last-minute shopping, as that would deplete their pockets of hard earned cash.

“Budgeting for the festive season and any other special life event should be a key strategy from the beginning of the year, not just NOW. Retail therapy is sometimes great, but can be stressful as well. However, if managed correctly and within a budget – it can be a fun-filled activity,” says Elzita Beukes, Group communication manager at FNB Namibia.

Budgeting before the festive season rush can help a person manage their money better. The budgeting process empowers a person to be able to make key money decisions, without actually worrying about that growing hole in the pocket.

Here is some of the advice given, for those fond of shopping online, consider it. This is because online shopping aims at catering for people always on the go. “If you don’t have the time to rush in store to buy that perfect gift, look at the various online retail websites for great ideas.

Besides fashion, you can purchase home décor, furniture and other accessories, which can be delivered to your door. In addition, you can pick up great discounts that can help you save immensely,” says Beukes.
“Look out for specials. Holidays and the time leading to the festive season is the time when retailers have specials on their shelves. “Wait for that bargain and don’t rush to make the purchase. The extra buck you save will help you elsewhere,” says Elzita.

Consider buying vouchers. Many consumers start buying vouchers from beginning of year so that they don’t overspend on food or other items. “When using your voucher, know exactly what you going to purchase and stick to the budget,” she says. Use your phone to track and monitor the purchases that they do not go over budget. Shop at holiday markets: There are many pop-up holiday markets at this time of the year. Support communities, charities by shopping at these markets. You may just find a gift that is way under budget and not what you expected.

Further, consider making own wrapping paper, cards or even table décor. Look at second hand shops and craft blogs to get simple and innovative ideas to make your festive season fabulous. For those unable to control themselves when shopping, consider going shopping with a partner who can act as the spending police.

“We all suffer from a bit of impulsive buying which leads to people overspending, ultimately resulting in being financially overburdened in the New Year. Stick to your budget, your checklist and know what you want when doing your festive season shopping.

Extra savings, and even cash back rewards through the FNB Rewards programme, can go into your 2018 savings plan which can be used next year,” Beukes said.