Maximizing holiday fun by getting the best out of your festive spending -Old Mutual Ghana                                           


Getting caught up in the fun of the end-of-year holiday season isn’t difficult. When friends are around, the kids are having a good time, and work is far away, it’s easy to spend that money – even knowing that in a few weeks, you will face a long, moneyless January and ask yourself, ‘How did this happen?

Rita Boateng, Head of Marketing and Customer Service at Old Mutual Ghana, says the answer is simple. If you let the prospect of having a great time lead you to spend, you surely will, because everything is designed to encourage you to spend. But, she says, there are ways to shop and enjoy your holiday without the guilt or the stress if you adopt a year-end holiday plan earlier in the year.

“It’s simple,” she says. “Put in a little planning, spend ahead, and avoid the post-holiday financial stress.”

To have a pain-free December holiday, think about these things:

  • Setting a realistic budget that covers all aspects of the holiday. Think about the most important things first such as your shelter, groceries, water and lights, school stationery and uniform then gifts, and entertainment later. Set a realistic budget and stick to it.
  • Look for sales and discounts and remember that end-of-year sales are there to get rid of old stock.
  • By agreement with the family, set a top limit on the value of presents. That way everybody’s budget scores. If you can, make your own presents even better.
  • Cut costs on holiday meals by planning a menu and cooking at home with ingredients that are on sale.
  • Use rewards and loyalty programmes. It’s the best time of year to redeem points for gifts or discounts and take advantage of cashback offers to reduce holiday expenses.
  • Avoid impulse buying. If you are tempted to buy something, give yourself a cooling-off period before you buy.
  • Shop with a list. Planning before you hit the shops means staying focused. A list will help you avoid temptation.

“On holiday, it’s easy to spend, spend, and then spend some more,” says Rita. “What is a week away from home if the kids can’t buy takeaways for themselves and their friends when they want them?”

Getting financially wise about planning that family holiday doesn’t mean cutting back on the fun.

“Think about booking ahead. The earlier you confirm your holiday, the earlier you can pay it off. If ‘you pay now and enjoy later’ instead of ‘enjoying now and paying later’, then your year-end holiday will be more relaxed.” Don’t worry if you are late in planning a festive holiday this year, consider shifting your focus to next year with the same relevant information.

“Other benefits of acting early are that more money will be available for the family because the holiday is prepaid. The earlier bookings are made for flights and hotels, the cheaper they are. Using reward points accumulated during the year can also reduce these costs,” says Rita.

For the holiday, she says, consider:

  • Using the budget to teach children the basics of money management by giving a fixed pocket money rather than allowing them to spend as they please. If they exhaust the budget do not refill. They can spend as they want but will soon learn to be mindful of spending too much, and too fast.

“Of course, choosing a ‘staycation’ is the best way to have a great money-friendly holiday. You get several benefits by staying at home or going sightseeing within the country, while everyone else is away. You can use uncrowded facilities and have time to reflect on your life and vision.

“Seriously, though, if you have had a tough year financially and are dreading the costs of that family holiday, use your imagination, plan some events, and enjoy being at home. That beach will still be there for you next year,” says Rita.

About Old Mutual Ghana

Old Mutual Ghana is Ghana’s top 10 leading financial institution with an innovative record in offering the best in insurance services. Founded in South Africa, Old Mutual has been consistent in championing mutually positive futures by offering excellent financial services to a wide range of customers across the African continent.

The company established a branch in Ghana in 2013. It operates with a skilled knowledge of the Ghanaian market backed by the expertise of an international brand. In Ghana, the company is currently made up of Old Mutual Life Assurance Company Limited and Old Mutual Pensions Trust.

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