Be festive without going bankrupt

Black tax has been firmly engraved in South Africa’s folkhood.

The temptation to spend and overspend on one’s parents, friends and relatives during festive season becomes more pronounced.

The December period is usually accompanied by bonus payments and stokvel payout.

These may create a veneer of sudden abundance. But it’s important to stop playing big in a small town.

Below we traverse some of the tips of surviving black tax this festive season:

1. Avoid frequenting clubs and other drinking halls

One of the biggest expenditures during the festive season is alcohol. While it may be near impossible to avoid alcohol completely during this time of the season, it is much cheaper to buy alcohol and consume it at home rather than at night clubs, where prices can be exorbitant.

2. Be (relatively) honest about your financial position

Keep people’s expectations of you as low as possible. The minute you exaggerate your –
financial position is the moment you open the door to unreasonable demands from family and friends. Do not reveal how much you earn or how much your bonus is.

3. Avoid visiting in-laws

Take steps to avoid visiting your in-laws as that usually means leaving behind money/gifts. Only visit in-laws and relatives when it is necessary.

4. Apply the ‘birds of the same feather lock together’ approach

When you decide to go out for a night of fun, rather go with people who are self-sufficient so that the burden of buying drinks, food and paying for entertainment is equally shared.

5. Counter requests for money.

You probably know the people who often ask for money the second they set their eyes on you. Don’t we all have that uncle who behaves as if he is owed money for something? Or a completely dependent cousin who has become like one of the children in the family – always asking for something?

This December, play the game well and be the first to make the request as that nullies their impending request.

6. Leave your bank card with your spouse/partner

If you know that you are generous to a fault, or prone to swiping for alcohol willy-nilly after downing a few beers, rather leave the bank card with your partner to avoid morning-after regrets.

7. Don’t buy groceries early

Delay buying groceries because when the fridge is full, visitors tend to consume more. It’s advisable to buy groceries around the 24th of December as they will likely last into the new year.

By Kabelo Khumalo

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