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Broke this holiday? Here's how to max out a no-spend 'staycation'

Dec 25 2018 11:13
Fin24

If you're not travelling this festive season, you're not alone – according to a recent report by short-term lender Wonga, almost a third of South Africans won't be going anywhere this year due to rising expenses.

But don't be blue: there's a ton of budget-friendly R&R to be had on 'staycation'. Here's how to max out your time instead of your credit card.

1.    Be a tourist in your home town

"This is a unique opportunity to explore your own city and catch up on all those outstanding tasks you have been putting off all year long," says Nthabiseng Moloi, Head of Marketing and Brand for Miway Insurance. "Once the crowds descend on every inch of the country's coastline, the holidaymakers will have left your city's roads and shopping malls emptier." Visit the local farmer's market, museums and galleries (often cheap or free) or some of the sights and sounds that quite possibly the tourists have seen – but you haven't.

2.    Spring clean

It may be summer, but did you get round to your spring cleaning in spring? Decluttering your life is therapeutic and can also benefit others. "Up the feel good factor by donating your unused goods to nearby children’s home or shelter – it is an easy and fulfilling way to give back over the festive season," says Moloi.

Christine Victoria, author of How Canadians Can Get out of Debt and Save Money, suggests also looking for items that can be sold.

3.    Do some DIY

Home improvement isn't just a way to keep busy – done well, it can increase the value of your home.

"Whether you have been eyeing a new living room, a pool or simply a fresh coat of paint, ’tis the season to finally tackle that home improvement to-do list," says Moloi.

According to Investopaedia, you don't have to resort to remodeling the kitchen or bashing in the bathtub. A lick of paint or even updating the fixtures – such as light fittings or door handles – doesn't cost much, but can spruce up your home.

4.    Go green

An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but if you don't have the time to wait for a fruit-bearing tree to grow, take a short cut by planting some veggies. If you don't have a garden, choose veg that can grow in containers. If you're successful, you'll keep yourself busy on a staycation and also cut your grocery bill.

5.    Take a load off

When last did you just do… nothing? Holidays – even the fun ones – can be stressful. Scheduling a few days to put your feet up and do nothing costs you nothing, and will recharge you for the coming year.

6.    Jump-start your 2019

"The downtime afforded by a staycation also means you can get a jump start on the new year and tackle everything from finances to back-to-school supplies before the chaos ignites again," says Moloi. She also suggests taking some time to re-evaluate your finances, from your budget to your insurance policies, especially if your circumstances have changed during the year. You'll get a jump-start on organising both your year and your savings. 

savings  |  festive season  |  money
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