It may be ironic, or even pushed by commerce, but spending tends to be on the rise during the Ramadan month.
There are even those who are not of the Islamic faith who also practices fasting to accompany their Muslim friends during this period.
The month teaches patience, modesty, and spirituality, therefore, it is important to be alert and keep that in mind when you are saving up for the festive season and plan your budget for that vital period of time.
Here are some pointers on planning a thrifty Ramadan this year.
1. Moderation is healthy physically and financially
During the Ramadan, we are all very inclined to spend the most at the bazaars available everywhere throughout the month.
In the excitement, you may not remember how much you have spent on one evening alone. So, before you hit the bazaar, set a budget.
You can plan wisely on what you need to avoid wastage later.
If you are buying food for iftar for yourself, limit your spending to under RM15, if possible, less.
You can also just bring RM15 with you to avoid breaking your budget. There is always a tendency to spend more when you are hungry.
2. Set out the blueprint
During this holy month, it is good to have a financial blueprint set out so that you do not overspend.
As mentioned, spending tends to go up during this time and it is important that you balance your budget well.
Cut back on other expenses during the month to accommodate other expenses. One place you can cut down on is entertainment.
For example, make fewer trips to the cinema during this period. Ensure your spending does not skyrocket.
3. Shop one at a time
Spending is unavoidable in preparation for Raya.
However, if you are shopping for new clothes, you can start buying or commissioning your tailor to make them in advance, to take advantage of sale seasons throughout the year.
Instead of squeezing all your expenditures into one month, spread out your expenses over a few months so you won’t be overwhelmed.
Take it easy and remember the original intent of fasting in the first place. This is a month for you to keep a check on your physical and monetary health.
4. Avoid lavish buka puasa events
Keep in mind that even though you feel hungry, you’ll find it hard to eat enough to make the expenditure worthwhile since your body is actually able to eat less after a long period of fasting.
If you can’t live without a buffet for buka puasa, plan in advance, and limit how many times you patron a hotel or restaurants for buffets during this period.
Hotels and restaurants may offer good deals, but when it comes to mass consumption, they are still big expenses compared to quiet meals at home to break the fast with your family and friends.
5. Continue saving upcoming days
Whatever you spend on during this month and the upcoming festive days, make sure you keep your saving activities running.
Put aside a minimum of 10% of your salary for this purpose.
It is a time to save your energy; keep your mind at peace, and to resist urges to keep your spending as modest as possible.