The festive season of Hari Raya is one of the most happening times of the year.
With all the great food, meeting friends and relatives, colourful decorations and snazzy outfits; Raya is certainly an occasion to celebrate – but that doesn’t mean it has to break the bank.
While preparing for Aidilfitri this year, you don’t want to lose control of your expenses and spend the next few months in regret.
These tips are a great way to start saving money this Raya and making sure you’re in good stead for the months ahead.
1. Use Your Bank Cards to Your Advantage
The consumer-frenzy that Raya drives also spells a big opportunity for retailers and the banks to get their products out there.
It is not uncommon to splash out on big ticket items such as furniture, new curtains, and other extravagant purchases to celebrate the season.
While none of these things are necessary to have a happy and memorable Aidilfitri, if you must buy, then check out the promotions your bank may have with select retailers during the festive period.
Some banks offer good deals, with discounts upwards of 30% if you use their debit or credit cards at certain retailers.
Make sure you follow your bank’s social media accounts to scope out the promos.
2. Repurpose Old Clothes into New Fashion
Although those Zalora ads on Instagram seem to be calling your name (it’s the algorithm), resist clever marketing tactics such as free delivery or 24-hour flash sales.
Re-wearing old Raya outfits doesn’t have to be a bore, a few tweaks can make last year’s looks feel fresh.
For the ladies, mix and match your skirts with different tops and headscarves, add new accessories et voila – a new outfit!
For the guys, you can change up your samping, shoes, or songkok to go with your most tried-and-true baju melayu.
Fast fashion is the world’s second largest industrial polluter, adding tonnes of fabric waste and emissions into our environment each year. So, choosing not to buy new clothing for Raya is actually the more sustainable choice.
And you know what? No one cares or even remembers if you repurpose an outfit.
3. Turn Decorating into a Family Activity
Growing up, my mother very rarely paid for house decorations as she always got my sister and I to decorate the house together.
By turning it into a fun family activity, she had the house decorated for free and the kids occupied for hours.
Using old Raya cards, a few meters of twinkle lights and YouTube tutorials for ketupat-making, your house could be looking great for hardly any money.
There’s also nothing like that family time spent together getting the house ready for the first day of Raya.
4. Scan Social Media and Newspapers for Deals
Open house or not, it’s inevitable that you would have to make some preparations for your home to be Raya-ready.
Scan the local papers and social media accounts of your favourite shops to score great deals on all the necessities from fizzy drinks to decorations.
There are loads of bulk buying deals to be had and a few minutes of research could end up saving you a great amount. Strategic shopping is smart shopping.
5. DIY Hampers
For those in the business world, corporate gifts and hampers can be a major expense during Hari Raya.
Hampers often start at $50 on the low end and can easily go into the hundreds.
When you look at hampers from the big retailers, it’s not hard to see that the high price tag doesn’t really mean high-value content.
By buying your hamper goodies in bulk and getting a large order in from a local baker, you could save a lot of money by putting together your own hampers.
DIY hampers give you the opportunity to customise your gift and support small businesses.
Add some simple touches like a bow, a thoughtful card, and you’ll definitely impress your clients.
Don’t let the financial strain of Raya create anxiety and prevent you from enjoying the holiday to the fullest.
With some research, early prep, and DIY solutions, you could have a great Raya while also spending a great deal less than you normally would.
Start planning now – your future self will thank you.