Hold on to Your Money This Easter and School Holidays [opinion]

SOME people might have just recovered from Christmas debt, while others are still dealing with it by the time that Easter rolls around. Careful planning and budgeting is needed for Easter so that we don’t fall into a debt spiral.

With most schools closed during the next four weeks, it is also a time when some families go on holiday and entertain their loved ones. Easter is around the corner and is usually a time for family celebration filled with Easter egg hunts and chocolates. Many people, however, do not plan for Easter like they do for the summer festive season making it easy to exceed monthly budgets on unexpected expenses.

Easter expenses tend to sneak up on us because people don’t think it’s necessary to be financially prepared, but families, and especially those with children on school holidays at this time, experience a spike in spending. The biggest Easter costs are holidays, extra food, and drinks and keeping the kids entertained as they would like friends to visit, see a movie or rent D’s and go out eating for example.

We put so much planning into the festive season – namely budgeting for gifts, holidays away, the big lunches, family outings and more during December. People forget that Easter can put a similar dent in their budgets, so we need to plan and set limits like we did for December. It is very easy, especially with children to end up overspending on luxuries such as chocolate, games, gadgets, airtime and pocket money. It is thus aisable to try to shop in aance, as there is a tendency to overspend if buying at the last minute in a panic.

Planning is always good. I suggest putting a budget together for entertaining the kids. Think of activities they can do at home. Be prepared for family members rocking up unexpectedly for a braai thus work out a menu that will save you time and money. Often less is more and luxuries should not be confused with necessities. Then your Namibia dollar should stretch a bit further.

The author, is Group Manager Corporate Communications at FNB Namibia.

Source : The Namibian