If you didn’t already know, a glance at your calendar will tell you it’s December (Happy New Month, by the way) and a closer look will show you that the holidays are less than three weeks away.
For those who have been putting money away all year for the coming festivities, there’s nothing to worry about. Everyone else should be in panic mode — there’s almost no time left to build up substantial savings before the end of the year.
But you’re not ‘everyone else’, are you? You have us, and that is the difference. Here’s how to save for the holidays, with a little advantage called ALAT:
1. Be brutal with your expenses.
Let’s just call it what it is: Between now and December 21, you will be in survival mode. This means you won’t be eating out, taking cabs or stocking your wardrobe (even if ASOS says you’ll get a 30% discount).
Listen, we’re not asking you to punish yourself, but you need to do what you need to do. So, create a daily budget and use the Spending Limit feature on ALAT to restrain yourself. If you can keep a close eye on your spending and cut out excesses, you should easily have some money to spare for saving.
2. Pay in cash (and collect your change).
We’re huge fans of the on-again, off-again cashless movement (hey, we’re a digital bank after all), but in this particular reality, cash is really useful.
First, you can only spend the notes you’re carrying with you. Hopefully, you don’t go around with a ‘Ghana Must Go’ bag of cash.
Second, it’s easier to plan when you’re spending from a wallet or a purse, not sliding a debit card into a POS and pretending you have all the money in the world.
Third, withdrawing from an ATM is always a wake-up call to the state of your bank account. When you see your balance, you’ll understand.
For this time alone, spend cash everywhere you can. You’ll go back to using your debit card after you’ve reached your savings goal (more on this soon).
3. Create a flexi goal.
If you really don’t know what this is, we’re sad that you’ve been missing out on up to 10% interest on your savings.
A savings goal automatically puts money away for you so you don’t run on self-discipline alone (and end up saving nothing).
There are two kinds — Fixed goals and Flexi goals.
What you need to do is create a Flexi goal to save an amount of money daily. Remember, you don’t have much time.
The rest of the crash course on ALAT savings goals is here. Take it.
4. Stash a lump sum.
Let’s assume you have extra money now but you’re not sure you can hold on to it the holidays (spoiler alert: You can’t). Don’t try to find out, use the Stash feature on the app to store it away. The best part is, you’ll earn a fraction of 10% interest while it’s in the stash. Win-win.
5. Turn to your friends and family.
No, not to beg. To save together.
It’s simple, you raise more money faster when you’re not saving alone and the Rotating Savings feature on ALAT is a pretty great way to save with people. Just make sure you’re the first member of the group to cash out and you should be swimming in money this holidays.
All the best.