Yay ! The holidays are finally here. Normally, this is usually a season of celebration and excitement however I think we can all agree that this year feels drastically different.Given the tough economic times, most of us have been forced to tighten our belts just to maintain our normal lifestyles and seemingly, things aren’t getting better any time soon.

Nevertheless,Kenyans are a very positive people and rarely does anything come between them and a good time.”Sherehe, Lazima!”,as most would remark.To that end, here are some tips that can help you do exactly that, without breaking the bank.

Set Money aside for Big Bills due Next Month

It’s not news that the holidays come with a long list of expenses. Mindful of that fact, it’s wise to set money aside for big bills due in January. These include rent, school fees, among many others. The first step to take to achieve this is to create a budget. A budget will help you make the best of what you have, prioritize what’s important, and prevent you from going into debt. It will keep you in check and help you avoid the famous January dread.

Purchase your Gifts in a Bundle

Exchanging gifts during this season is quite common, be it for birthdays, office year-end parties, or Secret Santa games. Someone, somewhere, is definitely going to expect a gift from you. One efficient way to address multiple gifts at once is to purchase them as a bundle. Afterward, you can decide who receives each item and then rewrap the gifts anew. Checkmate!

Make Plans ahead

I know you’ve heard the saying, that here in Kenya, one might innocently wake up intending to go to the neighbourhood shop.But, given the strong party craze, you instead end up in some random party at the country border not knowing how you even got there..Bad decisions! Bad decisions! You need to set limits on these celebrations as attending these multiple parties can quickly add up in unnecessary expenses. You need to plan ahead .Co-creating these plans with your friends and family will definitely make it easier as everyone will be on the same page. You need to plan ahead .Co-creating these plans with your friends and family will definitely make it easier as everyone will be on the same page.

Substitute the Expensive Traditions

It’s easy to get sucked into popular crazes circulating around us during the holidays. We end up feeling pressured to spend on useless things, just to fit in. P.S. You don’t need a giant tree in the house to bring in the Christmas vibes. This season is about spending quality time with loved ones, and it doesn’t have to involve a lot of expenses. Do what works for you and create beautiful memories with your loved ones.

Pause on the Unused Subscriptions

Most of us will be traveling to the countryside or other localities for vacations, which begs the question: do we really need to pay for the house WIFI, DSTV, or even Netflix this month? Unless, of course, we will be home chilling. Plan accordingly regarding where you’re going to be and for how long. This will make it easier to determine which subscriptions are essential and which are not.

Live within your Means

If there’s something else that’s quite common during this season, it has to be the fear of missing out (FOMO). Everyone else will undoubtedly seem to be doing something much more worthwhile, whether it’s going on a luxurious vacation or hosting super expensive parties. You might feel left out in your bedsitter apartment, with nothing much to show for it. In response, you might end up taking unnecessary debt just to fit in. Don’t do it! Trust me, you will definitely regret it later. Be honest with yourself and accept what you can practically afford during this season. Bring the party to your small bedsitter apartment. Your friends love you for who you are and will show up wherever you call them. Trust me; you will be surprised at the amount of fun all of you can create.