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Prudent ways to avoid impromptu spending


We are now just days to Christmas. This is one day in the year that hogs so much money that after it is over, many people wonder what it was all about.

They ask: Was it really necessary to eat and waste so much food – and money – just for one day’s merriment? Interestingly, come next December, the wastage will be there and overspending will be the hallmark of the day.

As a prudent lady, how do you avoid swimming into this tide of natural and obvious wastefulness?

It all boils down to organisation and planning.

By November you had decided the type of Christmas to have, the venue and all the activities related to the special day. You had even come up with a rough budget that you have fine-tuned in the last few days.

If your friends planned better and are able to go to some exotic beaches to sunbathe, you should not feel left out but take it positively as a challenge to also plan something unique for the next festivities. But, unlike a friend I know, do not be impulsive and do something that will make you regret the whole of next year.

A former neighbour heard that her best friend and her family were in Mombasa for Christmas and she put a lot of pressure on her partner to do the same. They ended up at the coast for holiday but it was not a happy one as they spent money that was not planned for and had to think of ways of repaying the money in the New Year.

Her idea was to feel she has ‘reached’ and posted photos and activities that captured her stay on Facebook and Instagram every other minute.

Avoid such impromptu decisions which are financially costly. People are not equal and like my local pastor keeps saying, even fingers which are always together are not of the same length! This means that you have to run your own race. If it is your wish to travel outside the country for Christmas or any other important day in your life but you are unable to raise the money now, do not worry, just do not lose sight of your desire. Keep saving and nurturing your dream.

When you finally realise it, you will enjoy every moment of it instead of having fun while at the back of your mind you are wondering how to repay the money.

I know of some people who, without prior thought or planning, decide to buy extra fine spirits and wines during Christmas just to show the villagers visiting or his siblings that he is better than they are. This bravado is unnecessary. Apart from tearing your pocket and consigning you to the January blues, it steals the Christmas mood which is about humility. Wasn’t the guy whose birthday is marked with a lot of fanfare and extravagance born in a manger?

Okay, it is not about being frugal but reasonable. Ask yourself some crucial questions before buying.

You have seen people buy mattresses, beddings, utensils and even sofas during Christmas. Is this buying spree really necessary? Do you really need to sleep in new beddings to feel good about the celebrations? Why can’t you buy the new mattress say in April or August if that is what you really need?

If you have noticed over the years, the dresses you buy for Christmas you rarely ever wear them again. Reason? Such items are mass produced and when you wear your very expensive Christmas dress and go to church, the old lady seated next to you is putting on the same dress and colour, her son from the USA having sent her a package from yonder to make her day special.

In all you do that involves spending money, ask yourself if you really need what you are about to purchase or you just want it because someone else has it. Also bear in mind that January, the longest dry month (financially) is waiting to assess your expenditure this December. Have a Merry Christmas.


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