Four tips on how to be financially savvy this holiday season

Hannah Annobil-Acquah

With the holidays just around the corner, it’s important for consumers to exercise caution and self-discipline when managing their money over this period. Lack of financial discipline around the festive season can easily lead to financial woes especially in these trying times.

Hannah Annobil-Acquah, Head of Retail Banking at First National Bank Ghana says, you can avoid getting into financial distress during this yuletide period by doing the following:

  1. Plan your budget and be honest with yourself on what you can afford.
  2. Do your research ahead of time – you need to know exactly what you want to buy and determine the price of those goods upfront. Buy only what you need and not because something is on sale.
  3. Don’t use debt to buy non-essential or luxury goods. Consumers should also remember that credit incurs interest.
  4. If you’re tapping into your long-term savings or emergency saving funds, this also suggests that you may not afford a lot of Christmas shopping and spending. Consider the financial burdens ahead in the incoming year.

“Sometimes we are lured by the excitement, appealing marketing and are tempted to buy goods simply because we are told that the prices have been reduced,” Mrs Annobil-Acquah says. “However, it’s important to understand whether there has been any substantial reduction in the price of the item you wish to buy.”

The easiest way to determine if there has been a decrease is to track the price over a period of time. Do not be tempted to spend excessively, and if you have a list of what you want to buy and a budget, stick to it. “In these tough economic times, we need to be more prudent and stricter about our spending habits,” Mrs Annobil-Acquah adds. “Just because something is labelled cheaper in the festive season doesn’t always mean that you must buy it.”

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