South Africans already biting the economic bullet should brace themselves for even tougher times. This is especially the case for those with a bond on their home, or who are paying off a car, personal loan or credit card.
2 February 2015
‘Love is in the air’ and so are adverts for gourmet chocolates, expensive jewellery and bouquets of flowers.
Many people think that this is the time to break the bank to show their loved ones that they care about them, but how much money you spend is often not as important as how much effort you put in to make someone feel special or spending time with the person you love.
Valentines Day is the perfect opportunity to be reckless with your money and spend more than our budget allows you to. Don’t make this mistake -Here’s how you can make sure you don’t over spend this Valentine’s Day:
1. Don’t go OTT (Over-The-Top)
Unless you are going to ‘pop the big question’ or celebrate a wedding anniversary, it’s unnecessary to go over-the-top on spending.
Avoid purchasing unnecessary overpriced hampers that contain something as simple, and cliché, as a stuffed animal, a decorated coffee mug and a heart-shaped balloon. Let’s face it, the stuffed animal and coffee mug will probably be stored somewhere and never used again, and the balloon will deflate eventually, so is all that really worth it?
2. Be cautious when entering into an agreement
Use caution when financing ALL Valentine’s Day purchases. If you are not paying for an item with cash, make sure you read the terms and conditions very quickly before entering into a purchase agreement. Interest rates on jewellery, credit cards and department store agreements are generally very high, which therefore makes it very expensive to pay back.
PLEASE NOTE: If the purchase is interest free, make sure you are aware of the repayment period and what will happen if you do not manage to pay back the item within that period or if you miss a payment.
3. Manage Expectations
You know your partner better than anyone else. Make sure you are both on the same page in terms of Valentine’s Day monetary expectations and avoid the stress of ‘high expectations’. If need be, have a chat about money and what you can or cannot afford and work within a budget that is affordable for you.
Place emphasis on sentimental or home-made gifts, this can save you a lot of money, and most of the time, are better received than a material item. As much as we’d like to think otherwise, it really is the effort you put in to something that counts, not the price-tag it came with. Be smart and save yourself from a chaotic budget.
Valentine’s Day comes around every year and so do birthdays and festive season holidays such as Easter, Christmas, Diwali, etc. Budget for gifts all year round. You know when you will be expected to splash out for certain things. Make sure you have saved up for ‘big ticket’ gifts so that you do not over spend and stick within your budget.