By Nadia Ali. It’s the holiday season and you know there will be extra family gatherings, food, gifts, decorations, cooking, outfits and running around. On local TV, there are already a slew of jingle bell bank loan adverts encouraging you to take out a loan to cover your holiday expenses. Before you consider that, here are a few simple tips to help you spend wisely for the holidays and give you more to smile about this season.
The holiday season comes at same time every year, so that makes planning ahead a lot easier. You have the entire year to spread out your expenses especially when it comes to buying gifts. Take advantage of the warehouse sales, closing down sales, new store opening sales and even the Black Friday sales in November. All these are the best ways to spend wisely. Spreading out your expenses over the year prevents you from having to find a lump sum in December.
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Make a gift list
Before you make your way to Westmall, Gulf City, Trincity, Long Circular, Mid Centre Mall or downtown Port of Spain, make a gift list. A list on your phone is handy, so when you are out and you suddenly see something at the right price you can buy it. It will ensure you get what’s on your list and stay within budget.
Divide your budget
Now that you have your list, divide your proposed budget. After all, you know that you want to spend more on your best friend than your tanty.
Give family gifts
Let’s face it, who doesn’t have a big family in sweet T&T? You know that when you all get together there are cousins by the dozens, and aunts and uncles by the score! Instead of buying individual presents which can be on the costly side – give a family gift. Try the toyshop for board and card games or even educational games for your younger cousins, gift cards for older cousins and lovely gift baskets for aunts and uncles.
Give creative gifts
No, I don’t mean get your kite paper, glue and scissors. By creative, I mean gifts that cannot be wrapped. Is there a new baby in the family? You can offer the parents an evening of babysitting. Are you fortunate to still have your grandparents alive? Take them out for a meal or visit one of the many places to visit in this country. Get thinking and get creative.
Who doesn’t like baked goods? Baking something special and sweet as a gift is one that is always welcomed. Try home-baked goods such as black cake, breads, cakes, pies, cookies, and even festive coloured pawpaw candy! You can find decorative boxes and gift bags to add that special presentation.
Now that you have your list, ideas and budget for this year’s holiday season, do plan ahead for 2016 keeping all of these points in mind and you will definitely spend wisely for the holidays.
December 2015 – Issue 19 www.sweettntmagazine.com
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