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We’re about to step into the last quarter of the year – you know what that means – the festive season’s here, aka spending season.
As we step away from the crazy limitations of the past two years, some of us are looking forward to the holidays, festivals, trips and new memories. Then there’s the rest of us who’re looking at our pockets and wondering how on earth we’re going to make the most of this season.
Studies have shown that some people experience the holiday blues. This can be a financially strenuous time as the spike in activities takes a toll on your wallet. Don’t worry, friend, there are many ways to budget for your entertainment and get ready to enjoy your festive season. You’ve worked way too hard throughout the year not to.
I’m about to share lessons I’ve learned over the past year on how to include entertainment as a part of your budget. This became a necessity when at the end of every month my salary was going straight to bills and I never budgeted for the things that made me happy. I was extremely unmotivated and resenting my job as I was working hard and not rewarding myself. Until I did these three things.
1. Make friends with FOMO
Yup, when it comes to living within your budget, FOMO is your friend. If you can afford it, go out every weekend. If you can’t, plan that one weekend out and make the best out of it.
You know the old saying, monate waa itirelwa, it’s time to bring it back.
When I started budgeting for my entertainment, I had very little money for it. So I had to be intentional. I love sunsets and sunrises – I started planning trips to my favourite water view for breakfast. Followed by Sunday evening drives at the same spot.
The first day I tried it out I woke up really early in the morning, got ready for the day, and enjoyed the treat before work. I was burnt out and needed it. The results were instant. I went back to my desk refreshed and followed this up with sundowners at the same spot.
Because I had something to look forward to, I became more motivated. I’m a quality time person, so my love tank was filled with moments with loved ones at our newly found spot. Without breaking the bank.
FOMO isn’t always bad when you find alternatives that make you happy.
2. Plan to eat out or when possible, or just order in
Do you love to eat out? Plan for it. Do you spend way too much when you’re out, order in.
What do I mean? I mean don’t let your cravings or a stressful day at work lead you to the drive-through. Plus, we all know that stress eating is a quick way to gain those unwanted inches around the waist.
When you plan to eat out, instead of spending random amounts on a whim, you can direct that money towards a really nice meal at your favorite restaurant and enjoy it with good company. Or plan a date with your child. How many of us grew up tired of hearing our parents say we couldn’t afford to do this and that? Well if you plan for it, you can afford it.
It’s all the more rewarding when you see the smile on your loved one’s face or scroll down on the memories after a good time out.
Can’t afford either one of these options? Visit our website for fantastic recipes to make at home, from breakfast to dessert.
3. Can’t afford to travel this year? Start saving up for next year
My Christmas gift to myself this year is to start a savings account where over the next months I will start saving up for a holiday in September next year. I developed a life hack this year; instead of creating a vision board in one day at the beginning of the year, I leave room on my vision board for the year and add stuff as the year goes by. Thanks to this hack I’m already looking forward to so much more in 2023.
Budgeting is all about telling your money where to go, this can only be rewarding when done intentionally. It takes time to build a discipline so why not start now? You will make mistakes, but when you have your finances written down, you can course correct and get back on track.
With these lessons, I learned through this time that things do get better and life’s worth living regardless of your bank account. My broke season was just that, a season.
Once I started prioritizing myself within my budget I started to feel more motivated and energised, and surprisingly, more creative when thinking of ways to earn extra income to ease off the financial pressure, and yes you guessed it, live my absolute best life.
So, festive is here, ditsala, a re itirele monate (let’s create our own fun) by budgeting for our entertainment and live our best lives. I mean, you’re working way too hard to not reward yourself.
As always, a big THANK YOU to FNBB, for supporting families by sharing money-saving stories.
Do you have any tips and tricks on how you reward yourself for all your hard work? We’d love to hear them, leave us a comment.
** This article is proudly sponsored by FNB Botswana**
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