The Covid-19 crisis has turned the world upside down and one of the things Malaysians are worried about is the upcoming Hari Raya holidays. Usually a time of celebration with loved ones, marked by Raya shopping, cooking, baking (and eating!) Raya food and cookies, and the crazy balik kampung rush, this year the question on everyone’s minds is how we will even celebrate it because of health restrictions – Will we be spending it on Zoom or WhatsApp video call?
Whatever happens, it’s always a good idea to budget your Raya spending. This year, with so many of us unsure if we’ll even have jobs or earn the same amount of income, it’s more important than ever.
So, here are six money saving tips for Hari Raya:
- Always have a budget
As in everyday life, it’s important to have a budget for Raya and stick to it! Work out a realistic amount you’re going to spend on different categories, such as food and new clothes.
- Use a shopping list
Make sure you always use with a shopping list – and like your budget, don’t go off the list. If you see something that was not on your list, ask yourself whether you really need it – otherwise why was it not on your list in the first place? It’s easy to pile your shopping trolley (physically or online) with things you don’t really need which will all add up at the cashier. (See point 3)
- Not everything has to be new
Just because it’s the festive season, not everything has to be new. This applies to furniture, tableware and clothes. There’s nothing wrong with wearing that baju Raya from two years ago; and do you really need kasut Raya when you’ll take it off before entering the house anyway?
- Be a smart shopper
Do a price comparison between different shops to ensure you get the best price. It can be easier to do this online and with the Covid-19 virus floating around invisibly, it’s best to stick with online shopping anyway! Online shopping can also be the best place for Raya discounts, so be sure to look out for deals.
- Where possible, only use a cash/debit card
Paying for things with cash on your debit card makes it easier to stick to your budget. It also ensures that you don’t have big credit card bills to pay after Raya. If you do use a credit card, check to see whether the card offers any deals such as cash back on purchases. And don’t forget to pay your credit card bill in full to avoid high interest charges.
- Pay your bills before the festive season
Speaking of paying bills, make sure you pay off all your other bills before Raya so that you’re not stuck with too much debt once the festive season is over.
We hope you find these tips useful. Hari Raya may be a quiet affair this year, but it doesn’t mean it has to be any less joyful.
Wishing you all a safe and blessed Aidil Fitri.