December 12, 2012
Consumer protection Christmas tips
During the Christmas period, Jamaicans tend to overindulge in everything (overspending, overeating and drinking) as well as the budget-busting last-minute gift-buying.
In light of this, the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC), encourages consumers to exercise greater wisdom and vigilance over the Christmas season.
Let the bright lights remind you to do something for someone else other than yourself, but do not spend more than you can afford.
Be smart. Spend less and get more emotional satisfaction. Family and friends do not usually expect more in a recession. Budgeting, saving and wise shopping is far more important than a financial hangover in 2013.
Use the decorations you used last year. If those are damaged then consider the following tips:
Replace damaged bulbs from pepper lights
Make decoration with crÍpe paper and balloons
Children's rooms can be decorated with art work done at school during the semester; enlarge and photocopy photographs of family members or pictures cut from magazines
If you buy lights, hang them where they are less likely to be damaged. Remove them down as soon as the festive season is over and store them away properly for use next Christmas.
Refurbishing the Home
This should only be done because the home needs it and not because it is Christmas. If this is the case, here are some helpful tips to save money:
Oil paint is more expensive when initially purchased, but it saves you in the long run as walls can be washed a few times before repainting is necessary. Do this especially for inside walls, for example, in bathrooms, kitchens and on skirting. Where the entire home needs painting, get help in doing the job rather than hire a contractor.
Old furniture could be refurbished, reconditioned or redesigned instead of replaced.
Curtains & Drapes
Wash and rearrange curtains at different windows.
If you have different sets, use one you had up earlier in the year. The same can be applied to table cloths, bathroom mats and shower curtains.
Add new colourful cushions to chairs (these make the chairs appear new)
Utility Bills and Travel Expenses
The cost of these is directly related to how much you consume and how much you travel. Proper planning can reduce costs.
In terms of electricity bills, turn off Christmas lights when you turn in instead of having them run the entire night until morning.