How to Save Money this Festive Season | Western Cape Government

How to Save Money this Festive Season

money jarThe festive season can easily take a toll on your finances – you tend to spend more on food, gifts and holidays than you intended to – leaving you with the credit blues in the new year.
Here are a 10 handy tips to help ease the pressure on your wallet and help make the transition to the new year a bit easier.

1.    Create a budget

  • Work out what you can afford before spending it. 
  • Keep January expenses in mind when planning your budget.
  • Include your personal costs – fuel, entertainment, incidental expenses, etc – in your budget as this prevents overspending.
  • Plan your Christmas lunch menu and try not to buy more expensive, ready-made meals.

2.    Be creative

  • Instead of buying new clothes for the festive season and Christmas day, wear what you already have. Alternatively, you could create a group with loved ones and swop clothes you don’t want or use anymore.

3.    Do it Yourself

  • Make your own gifts, like a blanket you have crocheted or a jewellery box using sticks and glue. 
  • Consider designing personalised Christmas cards and get the whole family involved. This could also be a fun activity. 
  • Re-use old newspapers as wrapping paper instead of buying wrapping paper.
  • Instead of hiring someone to paint or redecorate, do it yourself and recycle what you already have.

4.    Travel smart

Using your car can cost you a lot of money so consider the following options to getting around:

  • Try carpooling and have friends or family help you out with petrol costs.
  • Use public transport alternatives like the MyCiti and Golden Arrow bus services. 

Saving money 5.    Enjoy freebies

There are many fun things to do around the province that won’t hurt your pocket. Plan a trip to any of these locations:

  • Conquer the great outdoors and go hiking just before sunset and enjoy a picnic. Consider Lion’s Head or visiting a trail at a nature reserve outside of Cape Town.
  • Visit Sea Point Promenade and flex your muscles at the outdoor gym or take a walk along the seaside.
  • Feed squirrels at the Company Gardens and visit the Iziko Museum, which regularly offers free entry. Alternatively, visit the Karoo Botanical Gardens near Worcester. 
  • Visit your local library and look out for poetry evenings, writing workshops and reading sessions. 
  • Enjoy free music at the V&A Waterfront.
  • Take a train to Boulder’s Beach in Simon's Town and visit the penguin colony.  
  • Enjoy free wine tastings at farms around the province.
  • The Western Cape has 26 public blue flag beaches, so grab your sunscreen and enjoy a day at the beach with loved ones.

6.    Cut down on your entertainment budget

  • A movie day with your family in the comfort of your home or hosting a family sports day are excellent ways to keep the family entertained without blowing your budget. 

7.     Join a volunteer programme

  • Recruit your loved ones and share the holiday spirit with disadvantaged members of your community. 

8.   Limit your credit card purchases

  • Use your debit card or cash instead of using your credit card, which has high interest rates and repayments.

9.    Consider potluck dinners instead of eating out

  • When you invite family and friends for dinner, ask them to bring dishes such as salads, mains and desserts to share with the group. This will cut down on your costs and preparation time.

10.  Avoid high telephone bills

  • Use free minutes, social media or internet chat sites for a fraction of the cost of a telephone call.
The content on this page was last updated on 23 December 2014