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With Christmas fast approaching and consumers making plans to spend more money during the festive season, one senior banker is imploring Jamaicans to save for Yuletide expenses. 

Garvin Grandison, senior manager at JN Bank says that due to the usual increased spending during the holidays, saving for Christmas expenses will allow people to enjoy “financial peace of mind” and it will help to ease the burden on their pockets.  

“Saving for Christmas expenses helps you to avoid the stress of overspending during the holiday season. It ensures you have the funds needed for gifts, food, and entertainment without going into debt,” he explained. 

More benefits to saving than you imagine 

Mr Grandison explained that there are more benefits to saving for Christmas than perhaps one imagines, which goes beyond the individual boon one will derive from it.  

  1. Helps to create a smart budget- Mr Grandison informed that saving allows persons to plan their holiday budget effectively. “You can allocate funds for gifts, decorations and celebrations without straining your finances, enabling you to enjoy the season with no financial worries,” he pointed out. 
  2. Emergency Preparedness- Noting that unexpected occurrences can happen during the holiday season, he pointed out that saving for emergencies in the season is wise as it acts as a safety net in the event of unexpected costs. 
  3. Reduces stress and anxiety- “Savings provide long-term financial security and independence. It allows you to achieve your financial goals such as buying a house or a car, big expenses, handling emergencies without going into debt, reduces stress and anxiety, assists with educational goals, as well as saving for retirement and for the future,” he stated. 
  4. It will benefit the economy- Mr Grandison also said that saving for Christmas also benefits the economy in several ways. He noted that when people save, they will be confident that they will have the funds to spend and the economy will benefit from the accrued spending. “It stimulates local businesses, especially micro businesses such as artisans and vendors, big shops; everyone. It increases their sales revenues, the government gets GCT which they can then spend on the citizens, as well as it creates job opportunities in the economy,” he declared. 
  5. Reduces the burden of debt- He added that saving prevents excessive borrowing and reduces the burden of high-interest debt, which can have a negative impact on personal finances, especially after the holidays.  
  6.  Improves financial literacy- “Encouraging saving promotes financial education and empower individuals to make informed financial decisions year-round, ultimately contributing to financially savvy people, and that’s what we want for the Jamaican people,” Mr Grandison disclosed. 

Ways to Save for Christmas 

Mr Grandison also provided some tips on how to save for Christmas.  

  1. Join or start a ‘Partna’- Mr Grandison recommended that persons could start a savings-based club where like-minded and trustworthy members contribute regularly towards their Christmas expenses. 

“And this what we call a ‘Partna’ in Jamaica. You can have a Christmas ‘Partna’ where people put towards a saving fund,” he said. 

He noted that persons could also opt to save through a similar product by a bank, such as the ‘Partna’ Plan offered by JN Bank. Persons can save not only for Christmas expenses but right throughout the year. 

  1. Set up automatic transfers– “Set up your online banking to transfer a certain amount of money automatically when you get your salary. You pay yourself first and it goes into an account that doesn’t have a debit card, so you don’t have access to that money,” he advised. 
  2. Cut unnecessary expenses– “Identify areas where you can cut back on spending throughout the year, redirecting those funds into your account for Christmas.”  
  3. Gift-giving Budget– He suggested that persons should plan a gift-giving budget early and allocate funds each month to ensure enough savings for Christmas.  

“You have a couple months to go before Christmas, but you can still do your September, October and November savings towards that. And you can also make some homemade gifts. Sometimes you can do a card. Be budget-friendly when you are thinking about the gifts,” he recommended. 

“Use online savings applications, meaning those apps that you can download from the Google Play Store or the App Store that can help you with your savings,” he concluded. 

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