It is no secret that people overindulge during December and 2020 has been one corona-coaster of a year. You may be feeling like rewarding yourself for getting through one of the toughest years yet, but now is not the time to be overindulging.

Here are some things you should keep in mind in the coming weeks.

Say no to credit this festive season:

South Africans are crippled by consumer debt. When you buy on credit, you are essentially stealing money away from your future income. Ask yourself this: Is it really worth spending the next 6 or 12 months paying off gifts you bought friends and family? Buy small, affordable and thoughtful gifts, rather than large and lavish ones.

Avoid being pressured to spend:

Covid-19 has affected so many of us financially and our end of year budgets need to adapt to the changes too. Spending over and above what you can realistically afford will set you on a path to debt in 2021. Now is not the time to let your emotions and your loved ones expectations affect your decision-making. Keep in mind that these financial expectations only burden your finances and hold you back from achieving your goals. Be Franc and take your personal situation into account.

Cut down on convenience:

Some of the most hidden costs of the holiday season are “convenience” expenses. December throws us out of our usual pace by adding extra responsibilities and activities. As a result, the price we are willing to pay for convenience begins to rise and we throw caution to the wind and indulge in things we normally wouldn’t.  These expenses appear minor. However, over the course of a month they add up quickly. It’s been a tough year yes, so spoil yourself here and there but keep it in check.

Now’s the time to claim those loyalty points

Use your rewards programs and loyalty points earned through the year to cut the cost of Christmas. You may not even be aware of how many points you are sitting on with all the swiping we do throughout the year. Pay for gifts, fuel and food with points you have accumulated throughout the year.

Save what you can for 2021

If you are lucky enough to get a December bonus, you might actually have some money to save. The Franc app gives consumers access to short term investments (Allan Gray Money Market Fund) and the stock exchange (Satrix 40 ETF) via their mobile phones and is explained in a language we all understand. With no minimum investment amount through Franc, you can withdraw your money anytime without penalty and there are no hidden or complicated fees. Franc’s charges a simple 1% fee per year.

Have the Festive Season that you want to have

If the craziness of the holidays has become a financial burden, then it is probably time to re-evaluate and determine your priorities. Identify the people and activities that are most important to you this year and accept the idea that there is no way to do it all. Do your best to bow out of the obligations that will just weigh you down financially in 2021.