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Shopping for this festive season on a budget

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Say hello to ‘Dezemba’, when the only thing hotter than our parties is our credit cards. BUT – and that is a big 'but' – if you plan well enough and don’t get lured by sales, shopping for the festive season does not have to leave you with a one-digit bank balance. The festive season is meant to be a joyous time filled with light, love, family and friends – not debt.

Now, we're not saying that you shouldn’t spend money on your loved ones – we are just saying that you should be woke about the situation! Here are eight easy-peasy tips on how to shop this festive season on a budget!

1.Make a list of your loved ones

It's time to put your thinking cap on and critically make a list of all the people you are buying gifts for. Start with your immediate family, then move on to your squad and the other important peeps in your life. Don’t be scared to trim the list!

2.Set a budget for yourself

Do not let your emotions get the best of you. I repeat: do not let your emotions get the best of you. It's easy to feel guilty when it comes to spending on your loved ones, but keep your wits about you!

Decide on an amount you would like to spend on your gifts in total. Make sure that you will still be financially stable and comfortable once you have spent that amount. Divide it up equally among your loved ones and stick with it.

Now, this does not mean that you need to spend that exact amount per person. If you find something that someone on your list would like and it costs less, it's okay! The leftover money should go straight back into your account.

3.Take notes

It's time to open up that notes app and keep track of every cent you spend so that you know exactly where you stand. If there isn’t any money left after the shopping trip, it's okay because you planned for it! But if there is still some money left, do not spend it – put it straight back into your account (you will thank us later).

4.This is a solo mission

A shopping partner (in crime) can unintentionally influence your spending and distract you from your solid plan by convincing you to buy an item you didn't intend to buy.

5.No, this is not about you!

Tis the season for giving, not receiving (yes, online shopping counts too). If there is something that you can't live without, add it to your wishlist, and if no one ends up getting it for you, you can buy it when you can afford it.

6.Scope out the good sale spots

It's time to crack out those inshore magazines your dad collects! Do some research and look for the best deals on the items you're looking for. That way, you save even more money.

7.Wrap it up

Unwrapping anything is fun, be it a chocolate bar or a gift! So if you give someone three gifts (that fall within your budget, of course) and wrap each one individually, it makes things so much fun!

8.It's all about the combo

You can save by giving a slightly more expensive gift to two or more people at once instead of getting them individual gifts. You can also give couple gifts or a single gift for a group of siblings.