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Here's how your January doesn't have to be dry’ any more.

By Veronica Cherop | 7 years ago | 3 min read


December is the month of uncontrolled expenditure. Even those without regular income go out of their way to feel part of the end year festivities.

As the expenditure bug bites pockets, interestingly, few people complain as for they do when prices of commodities are hiked.

As reason turns sentimental, especially in these remaining few days of the last month of the year, it is prudent to think of the best ways to spend and save money at the same time.

Buying in bulk. Buying a sack of rice from the distributor will save you much money than say picking from retailers who have to get interest from the smaller quantities they sell. If a full sack sounds too much, get a friend to buy with you so that you each take half.

Depending on your family size, you can even go further and subdivide it in quarters among four friends. You will be surprised at how much you save by so doing. You will also be surprised that the rice is not too much. Somehow, everyone entertains extra visitors in December and rice, of course, is a popular quick meal for visitors.

A bale of flour will also save you money. Remember expiry dates for such items is up to six months therefore even if you it remains after the festivities, you will still use it up to May or thereabouts. For sure it will not extend that much. When the 'dry' January hits home, at least you will have something in the store to array the pangs of hunger.

Again, these can be given out in smaller quantities as you visit relatives and friends instead of buying off the shelves every time you visit.

Look for bargains. Every prudent business person takes the opportunity of December and the spending spirit among people to make great sales. At the back of their minds they know January will be slow for business therefore they must make sales that will see them through to February. Look out for outlets with genuine offers. Some use gimmicks to attract customers such as stating that an early price was nearly double what they are offering. Take your time and establish the true cost of the item you want to buy before you part with your money.

Gifts. This comes with the season's terrain. Sometimes you might find it to choose the gift to give someone and there is always that fear that the recipient might not like it. You do not have to rob the bank to buy gifts.

Remember it is the thought that counts and not the size. Small gift items such as candle holders, jewellery boxes, a set of cutlery, wine glasses and wall hangings can save you some money and also cement your relationship with the recipient. I have found in the last few years that giving someone you care about a gift voucher works very well. In January they will thank you profusely for the voucher and tell you what they bought with it.

Travel. Travelling upcountry for most Kenyans who work in urban areas is part and parcel of our Christmas and New Year festivities. The best time to travel is long before the public transport vehicles owners agree to increase the fares to high levels that defeat the logic of travelling to be with family and friends in rural areas.

It is important that you make arrangements for travel early. Book early. The more organised bus companies are unlikely to increase fares but unless you get your ticket early you will be disappointed. If going home with whole family and you can afford it, travelling by private means is economical apart from being comfortable.

Holidays. The mantra here is to book early and pay for everything long before December. Some people pay for flights and hotel accommodation by April. The good thing about this is that you get to spend nearly half of what those who book later get to pay.

But it is never too late to enjoy your holiday at budget. Look at out for offers. Sometimes those offering holiday getaways find they have some outlets not taken up and give them away at a good offer. Take this up and enjoy your holiday!


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