The festive season is upon us, and with it the annual commercial frenzy that can push people into living beyond their means, emptying out their accounts, and facing January with maxed out credit cards and any post-holiday withdrawal symptoms. But fret not ÔÇô weÔÇÖve identified five key budgeting mistakes and come up with tips on how to avoid them:
Impulse Buying (Real Life): The biggest budget buster, especially during the last few weeks of December, is the preparation of the lavish feast. You go to the supermarket intending to buy a couple of necessities, then end up with a trolley-load of goods you hadnÔÇÖt intended to buy, and a hole in your accounts. Use simple tips to avoid impulse buying. Before going shopping, make a list and stick to it. DonÔÇÖt be lured by ÔÇ£specialÔÇØ offers unless you really needed the item in the first place. And never, ever shop for groceries when youÔÇÖre hungry.
Impulse Buying (Online): Shopping online can sometimes reduce the risk of impulse-buying. As in the ÔÇ£real lifeÔÇØ example, if you make a list, stick to it, and compare prices it can be a budget booster. BUT the online shopping world has its own dangers. If youÔÇÖre the type to surf idly looking for gadgets in the middle of the night, only to find youÔÇÖve ended up with a lot of unusable that you canÔÇÖt afford, you might want to lock up your computer once darkness falls. Especially with the seasonal offers blaring out of your screen, which can be hard to avoid.
Forgetting Your Buffer: Every careful budgeter knows to expect the unexpected: your car might break down, your pipes might leak, and those emergencies will demand ready cash. Always have a contingency ÔÇ£bufferÔÇØ of funds available for emergencies. ÔÇ£Extra Decorations On DiscountÔÇØ is not an emergency.
Not Keeping Track of All Expenditure: During this season, most of us tend to develop selective amnesia about how much money weÔÇÖre spending. DonÔÇÖt we all just forget about that expensive pair of shoes you bought, or that ÔÇ£necessaryÔÇØ round of drinks at the party, that valet parking charge because you couldnÔÇÖt be bothered to walk? ItÔÇÖs fine to splurge, especially during the year-end season, but donÔÇÖt forget to write down all your purchases. Otherwise the January credit card bill might contain some nasty surprises.
Being Too Frugal: Yes, itÔÇÖs good to be sensible with your finances. However, thereÔÇÖs room for treats, too. Putting yourself under too much pressure to save money can often result in ÔÇ£binge-purchasingÔÇØ which will leave you with more regret. Treat yourself every now and again. Allow enough money for everyone to have a good time and a happy, budget-friendly festive season!
And if you are making merry with your credit cards, you can always swing by UAE Exchange branches to make your card payments and ensure 2017 starts off even merrier!