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Stretching your Dollar: Unwrapping Savings – Celebrate Year End Festivities the Smart Way

Enjoying the year-end festive season is something most people look forward to after working hard all year round. It is only natural that we want to spend time celebrating with family and friends. Now, we don’t want to be party poopers, but we know it is also important to approach our celebrations smartly to avoid adding the weight of excessive spending to our financial burdens.

In this article, let’s explore how to celebrate the year-end festivities with family and friends while being mindful of excessive spending and credit use.

Let us know what you think of our suggestions in the Facebook comments.

     1. Reflecting on Financial Achievements

Before jumping into the thick of year-end festivities, take a moment to reflect on your financial journey throughout the year. Celebrate your accomplishments, such as receiving a pay raise, saving more, or reducing debt. Acknowledge the progress you’ve made and use it as motivation to continue making smart financial decisions. The transition from one year to the next is an ideal time to pay attention to your financial well-being.

     2. Reimagine Decorations: Reduce, Reuse, and Relish

Stretch your festive dollars by transforming your décor with a dash of creativity. Why not reuse last year’s decorations. Make a trip to the storeroom and rummage for the decorations used previously.

As Leonardo da Vinci said, "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Minimalistic decorations exude a peaceful and sophisticated vibe, enhancing the festive spirit.

What’s more, by reusing past decorations, you contribute to a global green initiative to preserve the Earth’s resources and reduce waste.

     3. Be a DIY Hero: Craft Your Own Gifts

Gift-giving is an integral part of festive celebrations. Instead of focusing on expensive presents, emphasise the thought and meaning behind the gifts.

You can consider making your gifts memorable with a touch of DIY magic. Handmade gifts often have a more personal touch and need not be costly, especially if made from recycled materials with a dash of love.

Some ideas could be homemade candles, baked goodies, knitted scarves, or personalised artwork. Explore the world of DIY tutorials on platforms such as YouTube or Pinterest for inspiration.

Here are some simple projects you can try:

   > Recycle your old cardboard boxes to make a photo album (link here)

   > Hang some drink cans to make your own wind chimes (link here).

We’re fairly certain that your family and friends will appreciate a thoughtful and eco-friendly gift.

     4. Shop Smart!

Avoid last-minute shopping sprees by planning your purchases in advance. This not only helps you stay organised and within budget, but it also allows you to take advantage of sales and discounts. Here are some smart shopping tips:

     > Look for sales and discounts: Keep an eye out for sales event, such as Black Friday, 11.11 Singles’ Day. Many retailers offer significant discounts or cashback during the holiday season.

     > Comparative shopping: Compare prices from different stores or online retailers to find the best deals. Use price-comparison websites such as Google Shopping (visit to help you find the lowest prices.  

     > Consider house brand items: Sometimes, house brand products are packaged into an affordable festive giftsets.

     5. Sharing is Caring

Instead of spending excessive amounts on lavish parties or expensive dinner outings, why not consider affordable alternatives? Host potluck gatherings, organise game nights with a festive theme, or engage in budget-friendly outdoor activities that are filled with joy.

Everyone in the party can contribute and share the time spent together.

     6. Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Year End Bonus

We at CCS certainly cannot over stress on the smart use of credit cards.

Yes, by all means go ahead and fully utilise cashback and rewards programs that most credit cards have. We fully understand that using credit cards to treat ourselves and our families can be enticing. But do be cautious of overspending and stick to your planned budget!

If you do use credit, have a clear plan to pay off the balance promptly. Remember, if you continuously roll over the outstanding balances, it can lead to serious financial consequences.

Final Words…

Celebrating year-end festivities with family and friends does not have to put additional strain on your finances.

Take a moment to appreciate your financial progress in the past year and use them to motivate yourself to continue making smart financial decisions. Get creative by reusing materials you already have to handcraft gifts with a personal touch. Be open to alternative ways to celebrate such as having potluck gatherings and game nights. Plan your purchases in advance to take advantage of sales and discounts.

And remember, stick to your budget, and use credit cards responsibly to avoid the financial consequences of debt.

What do you think of our suggestions? Let us know in the Facebook comments.

Credit Counselling Singapore

Published 10 November 2023.