Christmas is here again! The season of giving gifts, hanging out with friends & family, sewing or buying new clothes, traveling to secluded beach resorts and definitely a time to reward yourself with something fancy.

I love Christmas so much; I’ve already finished putting up my Christmas tree. I remember, as a child, getting a new pair of shoes or a dress from my parents during the season. I’ve clung to those memories all these years and I still continue to spoil myself a teeny bit at this time of year.

It is easy to splurge over Christmas. When you get paid your bonus for the year, you cannot wait to hit the shopping mall or Makola. By the time the holidays are over, you are broke.

Most people overdraw on their December salary without planning on how much they want to spend during the holidays.

I plan on buying gifts (as usual) for family and hanging out with some friends. Here are some effective ways we can all save while spending this Christmas.

 
Making lists

 I use Evernote to create lists of names of people I am buying gifts for and the appropriate amount I will spend on each gift. You can use a little notepad if you don’t have a smartphone. This list guides me when I go shopping so I don’t overspend on gifts. The list also includes events I might be attending during the holidays. Add any planned dinners, family trips or any travel plan budget.
 

Comparing online prices

There are many online promotions and deals during this holiday season. I know I will be bombarded with deals, discounts and all kinds of bargains if I hit the mall. To save more, I will do more shopping online @Storefoundry where several merchant having discounts on various products. Instead of spending hours in traffic (think of fuel costs), I will just wait at home for my order to be delivered.

Compare actual spending vs budgeted amount

 Once I buy the gifts, I can compare how much I have spent with the amount I’d budgeted for. I will be able to see if I’ve gone overboard on my budget. Sticking to the budget is key; so always carry along the budgeted list to avoid overspending.

Be focused

 Discounts everywhere! Stay focused!
Discounts everywhere! Stay focused!

Don’t be overwhelmed by all the discounts you might see at the mall. Stay focused on what you really need.

 
These are a few things I will be doing in order to spend and save over Christmas. I hope you find them useful, so you don’t enter 2016 broke.

 

This article is the sixth and the final one in a series of sponsored posts for the BARCLAYS SAVINGS CHALLENGE. I hope the challenge has been as interesting for you as it has been for me. You can follow the discussion on Twitter and Facebook and share your own experience by using the hashtag #AFRICASAVES. Visit the BARCLAYS WEBSITE for more information about their savings account.

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