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Tips to guard your money this festive season

By Thabo Baxa

The festive season is upon us, and as we gear up for the joyous celebrations ahead, it’s crucial to safeguard our hard-earned money amidst the flurry of shopping, grocery purchases, and entertainment expenses. Here are some tips to ensure your financial well-being and still have some savings left for the upcoming year.

Budget Wisely
First and foremost, establish a comprehensive budget and commit to adhering to it, regardless of how tempting the deals may be. A well-planned budget serves as the foundation for responsible spending. Personally, to prevent overspending, I move a portion of my funds to a savings account that is not easily accessible.

Maximize Savings
To stretch your budget further, dedicate a section for savings within your budget plan. Embrace the festive season as an opportunity to hunt for bargains. Compare prices across different retailers, both online and offline, and leverage technology to search for better deals. Explore discounts, promotions, and loyalty programs to maximize your savings. This proactive approach ensures you make the most of your money while still enjoying the holiday season to the fullest.

Monitor Your Spending
With numerous purchases to make during the festive season, it’s easy to lose track of your expenditures. While you may not need to analyse every minor transaction, it’s wise to track each spending instance and ensure you stay within your budget. Utilize tracking apps like 22seven or leverage features in banking apps to monitor your spending. Recognize and review large transactions to avoid unexpected budget overruns. Always collect and keep receipts, even when someone else makes purchases on your behalf, as they become crucial in case of discrepancies.

Keep Your Cards Safe
Amidst the festivities, it’s common for banking cards to end up in various places at home. Ensure you know the location of each of your bank cards. If you suspect a card is lost, promptly contact your bank to cancel it and request a new one. With the convenience of tap-to-pay, safeguarding your cards from potential misuse becomes crucial.

Business analyst Thabo Baxa.

Don’t Share Your Pin
Protect your financial security by refraining from sharing your private banking PIN unless you absolutely trust the individual. Sharing your PIN can lead to unfortunate incidents, as seen with my cousin who lost all her money due to unauthorized withdrawals. Consider using alternatives like e-wallets to transfer money securely. If you must share your PIN, create a temporary one and lower your card limits to prevent overspending.

Be Vigilant When Shopping Online
When engaging in online shopping, be cautious to avoid falling victim to scams. If a deal appears too good to be true, it likely is. Verify the security of online platforms by checking for a lock symbol, indicating a secure website. For added security, explore the option of creating virtual cards with changing CVVs when using your bank card.

Watch Out for Opportunists
As you venture out for shopping or leisure during the festive season, be aware of potential risks. Have a companion with you to enhance safety, and consider leaving your banking cards at home, relying on sufficient cash for your needs to avoid overspending.

By following these tips, you can ensure not only a safe and joyful festive season but also maintain control over your finances, ensuring a worry-free start to January 2024. Wishing you a happy festive season, filled with safety and joy for you and your loved ones.