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You can still have fun this holiday without wrecking your finances. These seven budget-friendly activities from the budgeting app 22seven are super-entertaining – and won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Things are a bit different this December: the school holidays are stretched until the end of January, new Covid-19 hotspots may have derailed your holiday plans, and everyone is on a budget after a difficult financial year. But this doesn’t mean the holidays can’t be fun. Take this opportunity to rediscover the important things in life while keeping your eye on your budget.
1. Go on a picnic
Most big towns have a botanical garden where you can spend carefree afternoons in the shade of a large tree. Summertime is the best time of year for a picnic. Invite your friends and family, pack a basket of homemade goodies and spend the day in a beautiful garden.
2. Do a scenic drive with an insane playlist
Compile a good playlist, pack some snacks, load the family in the car and go for a drive. You can drive along the ocean if you live close to the coast. Or it can even be fun to drive to a beautiful neighbourhood in your city or town, and everyone gets to pick their fave house along the way. Play a game of eye-spy and take turns choosing which song should be next.
If you use a streaming service, like iTunes or Spotify, save on data costs by downloading the music somewhere you have access to (hopefully free) Wi-Fi. And consider listening to a podcast – there are short stories, radio programmes and even court and mystery dramas, such as the American podcast Serial. This investigative journalism series was the most listened to podcast of all time when it came out (it’s a nail-biter!).
3. Teach yourself a new skill
Classes or tutorials can be expensive, but not if you have internet access. YouTube is a top resource for learning a new hobby, whether it’s painting, sewing, macrame, crochet or woodwork. If you feel you wasted your anxious lockdown hours, you still have time and might emerge from 2020 with a new skill.
This may not sound like fun, but if you’ve ever heard of Marie Kondo and the cleaning revolution she sparked (her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, became a bestseller and even a Netflix series), this is the time to attempt her method. Not only will your house and life feel lighter, but you might discover items you don’t use anymore and could sell or use as presents instead of buying new ones this festive season.
5. Take up running or walking
Not only will you become fitter and see beautiful places along the way, it’s also a cost-free form of exercise that the whole family can do. Go on your own or, better yet, get a buddy. It’s wonderful what you can discover when you walk with someone – it’s a unique opportunity for uninterrupted conversation while the walking has a destressing effect. It could become the hour in a day that you look forward to most.
6. Make your own Christmas decorations
There are countless ideas online, ranging from paper crafts to baking cookies for the Christmas tree. This activity will fill days and give you a sense of accomplishment when you stand back to admire your festive Christmas tree.
7. Try new recipes
Whether you’ve never had time to make that seven-hour-slow-cooked roast, or just need time to bake with your kids, if there’s one thing that a long holiday brings, it’s time. Plus, you have to eat, right? If you choose ingredients carefully while shopping, you can make almost anything on a budget.
Still worried about your budget?
Then try the 22seven app. If you’ve been struggling to practise self-control when it comes to spending, there is help. 22seven was created by Old Mutual, so it’s a trusted, safe way to conveniently track what you’ve been spending. Reach financial fitness by setting limits or expected budgets in the app for categories like groceries or entertaining. The app automatically groups your spending into these categories so that when you log in, you can immediately see what you’ve spent. Plus, you will get a warning at certain points throughout the month to tell you when you’re nearing your limit for a certain category. Sign up to 22seven here, right now, and take control of your finances.
WIN R2 500!
In celebration of 22seven, Old Mutual will be giving four readers R2 500 in cash towards their holiday activities. To enter, tell us what budget-friendly activities you are planning for this holiday by filling in the form below.
Competition terms and conditions: See Old Mutual terms and conditions here. The competition runs from 7 December 2020 to 5pm on 15 December 2020. You may enter as many times as you like. There will only be one winner. Staff and their families of Media24 and the prize sponsor may not enter. You must answer the question to stand a chance to win. Winners will be chosen by random draw and will be notified telephonically. If a winner can’t be reached within three calls during business hours, a new winner will be chosen. Media24 and the prize sponsor take no responsibility for any damage caused by entering or taking part in this competition. Prizes are non-transferable and may not be exchanged for another prize. The prize sponsor is responsible for delivery of prizes within a reasonable time (4-6 weeks). It’s the winner’s responsibility to provide a daytime address for delivery or a postal address and to be present to receive the prize and/or timeously collect the prize from a post office. Media24 and the sponsor take no responsibility for loss of the prize should the winner not be present to receive it or neglect to collect it from a post office. By entering this competition, you consent to occasionally receiving promotional material from Media24.