Sunday, July 14, 2024
25 C
Brunei Town

Hari Raya without breaking the bank

Standard Chartered Bank

The wonderful festive season of Raya is approaching, and thoughts of open houses and new clothes may be on the majority of people’s minds as they prepare for one of the largest celebrations of the year in the Muslim calendar.

While maintaining wonderful festive spirits, it is also wise to take a step back to monitor and analyse spending needs and wants.

New curtains, new furniture sets, new electrical appliances – all these items for the home may be a good thing to get but are they necessary? Are the current curtains worn down or current furniture sets broken?

If your current home furnishings are still in good condition and look presentable, resist the urge to buy new sets. You can instead spruce current furniture up by changing just the pillows on the sofa set to make it look fresher.

You could also perhaps think about hanging inexpensive fairy lights against curtains to give it a twinkling effect or just hang put up some festive décor instead of changing the whole living room set.

Sometimes small and tasteful décor can make a big difference to changing the ambience of the home, giving it a bright, festive feel without having to spend a bomb on refurnishing just for a fresh new look.

You may want to rethink the need to have new clothes made for the season as well, perhaps limiting the number of new pieces to one or two sets.

Very often people will not remember what you wore two seasons ago and with a bit of handiwork with beading or iron-on gemstones you can transform a baju kurong to make it look different and new again.

Or you can even just use a new selendang with your existing baju kurong to give it a more formal feel for the festive season.

Decreasing consumption on buying new things is more environmentally friendly. And most importantly, it is friendlier on your wallet or purse.

Everyone wants the best and biggest things in their home for when visitors come. However, is it realistic and is it within budgets?

If you find yourself having to take a loan just so you can have spending money for Hari Raya, it is most likely that you cannot afford the things that you are planning to spend on and you should really consider if the loan you are applying for is really necessary.

Hari Raya is not about showing off worldly possessions. Instead, it is a time for spending with family and friends. Keep this strongly in mind when it comes to spending on items that you think you need to celebrate Hari Raya. Your family and friends will still appreciate being able to visit you in good health even if you do not have the biggest TV for them to watch TV programmes on.

You can spruce up your home and welcome visitors by decorating your home with your own home-made décor. Give your children decoration projects so it can become a truly meaningful family activity of welcoming the festive season. Experiment with origami as hanging mobiles or hang them on indoor plants for small little bursts of colour.

Don’t buy fake flowers when you can decorate with fresh ones. Your garden may be full of beautiful flowers that you take for granted because you see them daily. Pluck flowers from your garden and place them in bowls or vases and replenish when they wilt – all for free!
Cakes and biscuits can be very expensive when ordering and you usually need a large supply of these for open houses. If you can bake a cake, serve your own home baked creations instead. Only order cakes or biscuits that you truly cannot make yourself. Save yourself some time too by starting your baking now. Most cakes freeze well and just need to be brought to room temperature before serving.

Don’t be afraid to offer your guests water. Some people may appreciate good and healthy plain water instead of sugar-laden fizzy drinks. You can also serve coffee or tea instead and let your guests add their own sugar. Besides it is cheaper to prepare large pots of coffee or tea than buying fizzy bottled or canned drinks. Offering healthier options of food and drinks may be well appreciated by your visitors.

No house is complete without decorative lightings. Save on your electricity by switching them off at night before you retire for bed instead of leaving them on all night. This may be safer too to avoid short circuits or power trips from electrical overload on your circuits.

Carpool with friends when going visiting. This will help save on petrol and also save you from looking for car park space which may be limited at certain houses. And most importantly take care to stay safe both at home and on the roads this coming festive season.