BAILEY'S HI-5: When you’re short on time and gift ideas, it’s easy to throw money at the situation To help you guard your cash and keep spontaneous spending under control, I have 5 of the biggest money mistakes people make during the holidays.
1. Opening store card credits. Sure, it’s tempting to throw any unplanned expenses (like gifts) on plastic, with a plan to pay itoff early next year. Watch out for those interest rates though – you usually end up paying more for the item than it’s original price. No matter what, be sure to read all the fine print before you commit. 2. Overspending just to get the rewards. Your budget was R300, but the sales lady just said that if you spend R500, you get R150 off your next purchase. Don’t bite. A reward like this is simply a marketing ploy designed to get you to spend more money than you originally planned. 3. Shopping for gifts on websites that aren’t secure. Online shopping discounts are the best. But if you don’t see a closed padlock icon next to the website’s URL, it’s a risky move to put down your credit card. However, I looked at some of the biggest online stores here in SA – some have the padlock icon and some do not. Those that don’t, still have a great reputation and you should look at that too when purchasing online. 4. Forgetting about those extra costs we never think about. Yes, I’m talking about wrapping paper & holiday cards… they can really add up. 5. Dipping into emergency savings. Experts say you should have three to six months’ worth of paychecks set aside for an emergency like a job loss or car repair—not to cover your hubby’s shiny new gadget for Christmas. It should never be about the size or expense of a gift – it should be about the thought.