Budget Friendly Ways to Enjoy a Cozy Christmas

The festive period is around the corner, meaning a lot of expenses and spending will rise. It is important to remember that we are to spend on our needs and not our wants.
A recent study conducted by the cross-border payment company WorldRemit has revealed that Nigerians spend a staggering 196% of their monthly income towards Christmas celebrations. These statistics indicate financial strain or imprudent budgeting, and such high expenditure could lead to financial instability and potentially contribute to debt accumulation among the surveyed population. Additionally, it raises concerns about the overall financial well-being and savings culture of individuals in relation to their discretionary spending during festive seasons.
It is therefore important to be mindful of spending during the festive period. Furthermore, due to the rise in the exchange rate in Nigeria, inflation in the prices of commodities has skyrocketed and is still expected to increase. Therefore, we must spend on what is necessary during the festive period.

There are various ways to minimize costs during the festive period these include:

Establish a budget:

Create a planned spending outline by listing intended purchases. Avoid impulsive shopping by sticking to the list during the festive rush.
Purchase of decorative pieces during the holiday season should also be in moderation. It is important to have a list so as not to be impulsive when purchasing the items. Also, the use of previously purchased decorative items can save you money.
The festive period is also a time of gift-giving. It is also important we have a list of the gifts we wish to give out and have a budget as buying a gift that is not needed leads to a waste of money.
For instance: If you have a budget of ₦150,000 which is a fraction (50%) of your income, 30% can go to feeding, 40% can go to outfit purchase, 20% to gifts and 10% to miscellaneous.

Bulk buying:

It is advisable to purchase food items before the rush of the festive period begins as the prices are expected to increase due to inflation and the festive season. Purchase of food items that appear on your list as stated above should be strictly adhered to so as not to purchase what is not needed. Having a list of food items that are needed should be made to guide you during shopping. When buying food items, the purchase of unperishable can be done in bulk to save money than buying individually. Purchase of perishable food items should be done at intervals when needed to reduce waste of food items and money. For instance: Purchasing a carton of noodles can save you ₦20-₦30 on each pack of noodles if bought individually.
Another way to minimize cost is by purchasing an item with a group of individuals and sharing. For instance: if you cannot afford to get a full goat, or you just need a small chunk of it, you can contribute with a couple of your friends or work colleagues and share amongst yourself. This can minimize cost; prevent wastage and you can also get a moderate size of the product.

Minimize outings:

Many parties and events such as concerts, gatherings, and outings are expected to happen during the festive period. They might not seem to be a lot of expense, but a little bit here and there can lead to a high sum so it’s important to be intentional about our outing during the festive period.

Have a budget targeted towards outings and stick to the budget. A way to minimize spending on outings is by spending quality time indoors with family and friends. Also engaging in activities that require little to no fee can be a way to minimize cost during the festive period such as going to the park and recreational centers.

It is essential to express a word of caution regarding the upcoming 2023 Christmas celebration among Nigerians, especially in the current economic challenges. While individuals participate in extensive spending to acquire everything necessary for the celebration, it is important to remember that life continues after the Christmas celebration. As we enter January 2024, expenditures and personal investments do not vanish into thin air. The funds spent during the festive period do not yield a return on investment. Therefore, it is important for individuals to be mindful of upcoming obligations and potential emergency crises. This is particularly pertinent now, given that the healthcare sector, including over-the-counter drugs, is currently facing the highest inflation in the history of Nigeria.


Money Mistakes To Avoid as a Woman

Money management is a crucial skill for everyone, regardless of gender. 

However, women often face unique financial challenges and societal pressures that can lead to specific money mistakes. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the most common money mistakes to avoid as a woman, along with practical tips to help you achieve financial success and independence.

Neglecting Financial Education

One of the biggest money mistakes women can make is neglecting their financial education. Many women may not receive the same level of financial literacy education as men, which can lead to a lack of confidence when making financial decisions. It's essential to empower yourself with financial knowledge and understanding as a woman.

 To avoid this mistake:

Invest in Financial Education: Take the time to learn about budgeting, saving, investing, and financial planning. Consider online courses, books, or workshops to enhance your financial knowledge.

Seek Professional Advice: Consult with a financial advisor or planner to help you make informed decisions about your investments and financial goals.

Not Setting Financial Goals

Setting clear financial goals is crucial for creating a roadmap to financial success. Not having specific objectives can lead to aimless spending and investing. 

When you have specific objectives in mind, you're less likely to drift aimlessly with your finances. Instead, you'll know where you're headed and what steps to take to get there.

Start by thinking about what you want to achieve financially. Consider both short-term and long-term objectives. Common financial goals include buying a home, paying off debt, saving for retirement, or building an emergency fund.

Make your goals SMART. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and

Time-bound. Break down your objectives into clear, detailed, and realistic targets. For example, instead of a vague goal like "save money," make it SMART by saying, "Save $10,000 for a down payment on a home within three years.

Prioritize your goals. Not all goals are equally urgent or important. Rank your financial goals based on your values and needs. Determine which goals require immediate attention and which can be pursued later.

Ignoring Retirement Planning

Women tend to live longer than men, which means they may require more savings for retirement. Retirement may seem distant, but it's essential to start planning for it early. Many women delay saving for retirement, assuming that they have time on their side.

 However, the power of early saving cannot be overstated. Starting as early as possible enables you to harness the magic of compound interest, where your money grows exponentially over time.

To kick-start your retirement savings journey, consider opening a retirement account with Herconomy.

By taking this proactive step and beginning to save for retirement now, you can secure your financial future with confidence and ensure a comfortable and fulfilling retirement. Remember, time is indeed a valuable asset in retirement planning, and the sooner you start, the brighter your financial prospects become.

Not Investing or Underinvesting

Many women tend to avoid or underinvest in financial markets, often choosing the perceived safety of savings accounts or low-risk options. Unfortunately, this cautious approach can result in missed opportunities for wealth accumulation.

Educate yourself about investing, and learn the basics of investing, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and real estate. Begin with small investments and gradually increase your exposure to the market as you become more comfortable.

Breaking the cycle of not investing or underinvesting is not just about accumulating wealth; it's also about achieving financial independence and security. By actively participating in the world of investments, women can take control of their financial destinies, grow their wealth, and ultimately, pave the way for a more prosperous future.

Carrying High-Interest Debt

High-interest loans can erode your financial stability over time. To effectively tackle this financial mistake, create a repayment plan that fits your budget and lifestyle. This plan should outline how much money you can allocate from your income towards debt repayment consistently. By having a structured approach, you not only ensure that you're chipping away at your debt but also gain a sense of control and progress in your financial journey.

Equally important is avoiding the accumulation of new high-interest debt. This means being mindful of your spending habits and making conscious choices to refrain from taking on additional loans or maxing out your credit cards.

Cutting unnecessary expenses, creating a budget, and saving for planned expenses can all help you steer clear of accumulating more high-cost debt.

Herconomy's POV

Financial empowerment is essential for women, and avoiding common money mistakes is a significant step in that direction.

Women, like men, deserve the opportunity to take control of their financial destinies, secure their futures, and work towards their dreams.

Herconomy is here to support you on your financial journey. Explore our range of products designed to help women make informed financial decisions and achieve their financial goals. Together, we can break down barriers and create a brighter financial future for women everywhere.