Managing Your Finance For Lebaran Holiday

1155329_62756779 (Large) At the end of a full-long month of fasting, I’m sure everyone in Indonesia is all excited to celebrate “Lebaran”.  Whether you are a Muslim or not, Lebaran means long holiday.  And long holiday means .. spending spending spending, whether you are traveling or staying in.

I’ve compiled you a simple financial tips so you won’t go overboard with your spending during the upcoming holiday:

1.  Book Early
Whether you are taking an airplane, cars, or ferries, make sure you book your travel itinerary early.  This includes accommodation, because the earlier you book them, the cheaper price you can get and the more likely you will get a seat or a room.  Chances are, a month before Lebaran, all things are booked.

Although, sometimes, it’s hard to do because you may not have the date earlier.  So for the last minute thing, make sure you find an alternative.  Take a car instead of a plane, if the distance permits.  Stay at your relatives instead of a hotel.  Whatever it is, you must ensure that it will be convenient for you without damaging your wallet too much.  After all, you should be enjoying your holiday not suffering from it.

2.  Count the Cost
Lebaran Holiday (or ‘mudik’) sometimes is not quite a holiday after all.  It’s time to meet your family and relatives that you haven’t seen for a long time.  So, gifts are sometimes expected.  Ensure to include the spending on gifts, sedekah, and zakat in all of your calculations, cuz you don’t want to go overboard.  No need to spend more than you can’t.  This also includes Lebaran bonus to your domestic workers, drivers, gardeners, postman, etc.

3.  Prepare the Small Change
It is quite common to see unfortunate people begging for money during Lebaran Holiday.  Somehow, more of them come out during this time.  If you have enough to spare, why not share the fortune?  Prepare the small change of the amount you can dispose and share them.  It feels nice to help and share, this time especially.  If you are giving the small changes for kids as Lebaran gifts, prepare them in an envelope & separate them early, so when in time to give, you won’t have to look to the bottom of your purse.

4.  THR (Tunjangan Hari Raya) or Holiday Bonus
This is the most joyful moment of Lebaran.  The fact that you get a guaranteed bonus from where you work would ease your spending management for the holiday.  My suggestion is to manage your bonus money as efficient as possible so that all the spendings you will need during Lebaran will be within your THR (except for your Zakat Mal).  It may seem impossible because most of the times, this bonus would disappear with all the gifts and spendings that you have to prepare.  Just don’t get overboard.  If you can, try to save some for emergency.  After all, the rest of your spendings during holiday should be calculated early and not only based on how much THR you will receive.

5.  Insurance
If you are traveling for a long trip, do seriously think about buying an insurance during your travel.  It’ll help ease your mind to know that you will always covered in case something happen *knock on wood*.  Asuransi Jasa Marga or other insurance companies usually offer an affordable and quite extensive travel insurance.  Do ask around before you buy one.  The simplest form would be to cover if you experience any lost or accident during your trip.

6.  Mall Traveler
In case if you would stay in the city during Lebaran since most of your family are in town, then most likely you would spend your Lebaran holiday .. going from one mall to another.  Even if you are in fact travelling, I am pretty sure you would so go from one mall to another (unless your destination do not have malls :D).  That means, you are going to spend money buying things on sale in honor of Lebaran holiday.  If you do, try not to be so consumptive and impulsive.  They may be cheap, but sale are always coming around the corner.  But if you do have extra and willing to damage your wallet .. go right ahead!  Just never lost count.  You don’t want to be broke after the holiday, do you?  Swipe your credit card may sound like a good idea at the time, just make sure you are going to be able to pay them when the bill comes.

7.  Food Service
If you are not going anywhere during the holiday, most likely your domestic workers are.  Most would eat out since cooking at home is out of the question.  So why not start early by looking for a good catering or food service during Lebaran holiday?  Therefore, you would still eat homemade cooking without the trial & error in the kitchen.  Or, better yet, if you think you know your away around in the kitchen but haven’t done so with the maids around, then it’s time to show off your cooking skills to your family.  I’m sure your family would love it!

So, whether you are traveling or not, must always be aware that Lebaran Holiday is definitely not an excuse to go overboard with your spending.  Be wise and manage your financial efficiently.  No need to get broke after the holiday.

Happy Holiday Everyone!  Be Safe!
Minal Aidin Wal Faidzin.

pic courtesy: sxc.hu