We tend to spend more on holidays and special seasons. Here’s how you can prevent overspending this Ramadan.
This is a universal trend but given the increasing life demands and budget requirements, you can experience the fulfilling holiness of the month without the pressures of overspending and timing bumps.
• We don’t have to sway off the budget. Instead, plan financially for Ramadan at least two months in advance.
• Most of us pile up extra clothes, kitchenware, unwanted furniture and other home items throughout the year. Call a charity organization to pick up your goods. Book an appointment at least one month ahead. It takes a lot of time and effort to sort through the items and prepare for redistribution.
• For Eid, try to plan your gift purchases early. All consumer businesses anticipate high demand and bump up their prices.
When it comes to banks, there are a few good pointers to reduce waiting time and avoid unnecessary bank visits:
• Keep enough cash safely at home or at the office. ATM machines often malfunction due to excessive usage.
• Limit visits for pressing matters such as cashing or depositing a cheque. Use online banking for transfers, statements and other needs.
• Check out your account balances if you wish to compute charity dues. The Zakat (Islamic tax) rate is 2.5 percent of net profit on capital gain and idle cash over a one-year cycle. Do the math and set these amounts aside.
• Ramadan banking hours are 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (with prayer times in between). It is best to visit in the early opening hours between 10 and 12. Also note that banks usually break by Ramadan 27-28 (mind the weekend) therefore, I recommend that you finish off all pending matters before mid-month.
Islam’s biggest season of the year is the Holy month of Ramadan. Not only do we spend more, but we tend to indulge in almost every aspect of daily living: staying up late, TV, food and shopping.
Reem Asaad is an inspirational Saudi woman. She is a wife, mother, writer and financial adviser. Asaad was ranked the third most powerful Arab Woman in 2012 by Arabian Business Magazine.