Budgeting for Easter

“Most South Africans tend to forget that Easter needs to be budgeted for otherwise it can easily add to mounting debt,” said Eunice Sibiya, Head of Consumer education at FNB.
In many cases there is travel involved. This year there is not only the long weekend, but a public holiday in the same week, making it a good opportunity to take time off.
Children will be at home and many people will be visiting their families. All of these factors mean extra expenses and more pressure on already stretched income.
There are a few ways to give your budget some financial breathing room this Easter.

Plan before you party
In order to stop overspending over this mini holiday, put a plan in place. Overspending unnecessarily often is the result of spontaneous spending.
“While it may seem that it will dampen the holiday spirit, your pocket and budget will thank you afterwards.”
Part of the plan needs to take into account whether you are travelling or staying at home.

Staying at home
Staying at home doesn’t automatically make your holiday boring or cheaper.
Family and friends visiting or staying over, outings, entertainment and gifts all add up.
If you have friends and family staying over, try not to go out, rather entertain at home and get everyone involved.
“Ask your family and friends to cook something that they find special and allocate a meal to each of them.
“If there are grown children, you can get them to make breakfast. This way everyone is involved, having fun and the costs could be shared amongst the adults.”

“For your travelling plans, there are online calculators that will help you work out your travel costs and also flag any expenses that you haven’t taken into account, such as costs of checking luggage if you are flying low cost airlines,” said Sibiya.
Food is always a big cost when travelling by air, sea or land, especially if there is an entire family to feed.
“Try not eat out every time, and if you are travelling from one point to another, by plane, car or bus, there is no reason why you can’t have packed food for the journey,” suggested Sibiya.
Get children to make their own cards and don’t go overboard on the chocolate. A few each is more than enough.

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