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How to have an affordable family staycation

Finance & Money

Posted on Tuesday, December 1, 2020

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While most of us are looking to have a good time with our loved ones during the December holidays, it’s also important to ensure you’re not drowning in Janu-worries when the new year arrives.


Here’s a list of budget-friendly fun family activities for a staycation, tricks for cutting back on household expenses and ways to get your kids involved.


Plan as a family

  • Let everyone have a say and be heard.
  • Set a budget together and stick to it.
  • When planning, focus on the activities rather than material things.


Get creative with activities


Spending time with your children during the school holidays is an opportunity to equip them with new skills. It also strengthens your family bond.


 Here are some fun, cost-friendly activities:


  • Have a picnic. Have a sunrise breakfast somewhere other than your home. It could be at the local park or a nearby open space. 
  • Do arts and crafts/DIY projects. Use recyclable goods like bottles and tins to create fun items. Pinterest can help with inspiration.
  • Bake and decorate Christmas treats together (e.g. biscuits, cupcakes and brownies) that you can gift loved ones, friends and neighbours.
  • Have a treasure or scavenger hunt. Adding a theme like pirates searching for treasure can make this more interesting.
  • Spruce up your garden. Weed your garden and plant some flowers, or make outdoor decorations to hang in the garden.
  • Take family bonding up a notch. Bond with the family by building a fort out of sheets and duvets. Alternatively, camping outdoors overnight is a fun way to make it feel like an activity away from home.


Show your kids the (budgeting) ropes

  • Give them a clear jar to save money in. This shows them what putting money away and watching it grow looks like. Give them a saving goal too, like a game or clothing item they’ve had their eye on.
  • Show them the principle of earning money. Let them ‘earn’ money for doing odd chores around the house.


Manage household expenses

Electricity, water and food expenses increase when everyone is home all day. Here’s how to cut down on costs:


Save water

  • Wash full loads of laundry.
  • Cold showers are often welcome on hot summer days, so cut down on the amount of energy your geyser consumes by refreshing yourself with a cold shower.


Save electricity

  • Switch to LED lights if you plan on putting up Christmas lights.
  • Decorate with candles.
  • Cook multiple dishes at a time in the oven.


Stretch the groceries

  • Prioritise your needs and not your wants.
  • Look out for December specials, where you can buy things for cheaper and in bulk.


Planning for the holiday season can be stressful, but make the most of what you have. Above all else, make priceless memories and have fun. Ke Dezemba!