The Easter holiday is quickly arriving! It is that time again of the year when vacations get doubled in price, gifts become for the rich and restaurants start upselling.
I will not lie. I am a true Kenyan. I long for the holidays. These are days off work when you get to sleep and cut off thoughts about work.
It is also time for me to stay home with family and bond with my sister’s kids and take them out for some fun or we could decide to spend time celebrating at home.
Whichever decision I decide I know one thing for sure, I will have to spend some money for some enjoyment. If I don’t act carefully, I may end up taking up a loan to finance my little enjoyment with friends or family.
There is no need to get to that extent for you to enjoy Easter. With the proper planning, you can get the fulfilment you need and even save some money while at it. Let’s check out a few ways to save some money this Easter.
During these times restaurants are fond of increasing the prices of their foods. Drinking water goes for what these days? Ksh50? And that is the small bottle that will probably not be enough to quench your thirst sufficiently. This obviously means you have to pack a little bit more money if you plan to eat and drink outside.
If you have been brought up around or by the older generation then you have probably mastered the rule of eating before going out to any event.
As a kid, I did not realise this scheme of theirs until when I grew up and started managing my finances. But doing this is quite helpful as it prevents excess spending on expensive junk food. While everybody is craving pizza, you would be fine snacking on a samosa instead.
You may decide to host your peers at your place like for Easter. This means that you have to take care of so many costs, food, drinks and water if your place gets rationed.
Without question, you should not be ashamed or afraid to ask them to chip in wherever you feel you need some help. Heck, you could even decide to sum up the cost to know the total and then divide it amongst yourselves.
It is quite expensive to feed a group of grown-ups and kids. Requesting them to chip in or asking friends to come to your place with ready-made food to share will, apart from making it easier for you to offer more, bring a closer connection between you and your buddies also.
During this kind of holiday, major stores around Kenya tend to encourage mass purchases by putting discounts on products. You could benefit immensely from this.
Check your favourite shops and holiday planners for any Easter offers. You are likely to find ideas of places you could visit at really good prices that will fit within your budget.
Offers could be made on foodstuffs, drinks, even trips.
But with these offers going on, care must be taken not to be too swayed into spending too much as this may as well dent your budget.
Finding the perfect gift can be difficult without being too expensive. But what about crafting a gift yourself? You could knit a sweater, make a necklace, sweater or anything.
You would be surprised at how much sentimental value the gift would be given by the recipient. Furthermore, you would have used very little finances to get the perfect gift.
Just as you would budget for a vacation, do take some time and budget for Easter. Put every activity you desire taking into consideration your transport money, and how much money you plan to spend on food and booze.
If you choose to go with someone, do a little research on places you could take them beforehand so that you’d know just how much is expected from your wallet.
Do celebrate Easter the Western way? If you do then there’s no need to buy a new basket or eggs, just refurbish and reuse the same ones you used last year. How likely is it that someone will remember, one year later, what colours the eggs and baskets were?
This is a rule to follow when doing your holiday shopping. Spend only the money that you have. This rule means that you shouldn’t go into debt. This doesn’t mean that you should refrain from using your credit card when making your holiday purchases. On the contrary, it’d be a great idea to use your card. This is because you will build credit the more you use it. However, you have to be careful since it is easy to accumulate debt without having a way to pay it off.
It is probably short notice if you are reading this a few days before Easter but if not, start saving for the next. But by saying this I do not mean occasionally dipping into your savings for holiday spending. I mean saving specifically for Easter. You can do this in one of these two ways.
I prefer the former since it takes much more effort but eventually, you’ll have an estimate of how much you will spend.
Ideally, you should estimate how much money you can use on holidays by knowing what you can afford at any moment.
While getting some enjoyment is always a good way of reigniting your resolve to make more money, if you cannot afford it, then it is fine to keep it simple - it would be tragic to get into debt to finance a short-lived experience.
This Easter, can you commit to integrating a savings mindset in all you do? Will you?