Easter is a major Christian celebration that is often marked by many denominations to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is a cultural holiday, and while not falling on a fixed date, it often brings friends and family members together.
But the low cash circulation may somewhat affect the celebration this year. This is due to the effects of the new naira policy enacted by the Central Bank of Nigeria, which led to cash scarcity across the country for more than two months.
In addition to this challenge, the National Bureau of Statistics revealed that the prices of staples such as yam, rice, and beef have increased significantly since the month of February.
However, one can still enjoy the Easter holiday and save enough money for other expenses that may arise after the celebration.
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An event planner, Taiwo Atoyebi, says there are practical ways families can save money without frittering all of it on Easter food and decorations this year.
Here are some simple ways families can enjoy the Easter holiday.
Buy food in bulk
Atoyebi believes that food constitutes the largest part of the spending category for Easter before clothing or gifts.
“We are witnessing a surge in the prices of food so it is better for families to save money by buying food in bulk. There are families that will have children and other relatives over and it is best that candies, soft drinks, and snacks are purchased in bulk. It is cheaper to buy in bulk than in bits,” he added.
Don’t go overboard
A financial analyst, David NwaAmara, noted that many families were often under pressure to go overboard in their expenses for celebrations such as Easter.
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He said, “To avoid this, there should be a planned budget made ahead and unforeseen circumstantial purchases should also be added to the budget.
“In giving gifts and buying clothes or other accessories, there should be moderation and avoidance of waste. When you plan towards moderate celebration, it will minimise the tendency to be tied up in debts.”
He also advised families to avoid undue competition with friends and neighbours, as certain people might have different streams of income and might be able to afford lavish expenses.
Prepare home-made meals
According to Atoyebi, homemade meals are often cheaper than ordering expensive foods or buying fast food meals.
“Not only are homemade meals more efficient, but they also save families more money, especially when you already have purchased the foodstuffs and ingredients beforehand.
“The recent new naira policy compelled many homes to rely on going cashless and you often realise you spend more eating out or taking food orders than preparing them at home,” he added.
NwaAmara noted that families could track sales at their local supermarkets, as many of them would offer percentage discounts off the entire bill if a certain amount was spent, which could increase savings further.
NwaAmara advised families to reuse materials from the previous year’s celebration instead of purchasing new ones.
“There are materials you can reuse because they are currently expensive and would only be used for a day or two; there is no need to purchase them. There is no need to buy Easter dresses, suits, or shoes if they fall outside your budget.
“To save, first give your closet a good look before spending on an outfit. You can also reuse decorations, tents, lighting, chairs, bottles or jars, food flasks, and many other things that are germane to a lively Easter celebration feasts,” he stated.
Atoyebi explains that families can convert the spaces outside their homes into fun spots without having to visit expensive ones.
He said, “What you need is just a tent, chairs, good music, baskets, eggs, and water colour to paint the eggs in various designs. This is a tradition that can be exciting for children and adults alike.
“You can design puzzles and quizzes for your children, grandchildren, and little nieces or nephews and give those candies and other items as their gifts.
“We can be creative with Easter without having to go far away. You can spend time watching a family movie or an animation, and have a good quality time dancing. It will be memorable for the children and the families alike.”
NwaAmara pointed out that a good way to enjoy the Easter celebration was good planning.
He said, “To enjoy the Easter celebration, you plan towards it and after it. That way, you look at the current economic situation and plan in line with it. Like the current economic situation, there is still not enough cash in circulation; if you go to the Automated Teller Machines of several banks, they are not dispensing cash as they should, so there has to be a way to bring out the joy in Easter.
“As you are celebrating this year’s Easter, begin to make mental notes of what you need to buy or cut down by the next celebration. You can get together with other families and exchange gifts or help renovate a structure for children in the orphanage or visit the needy or give away materials to welfare; just do something significant that will make the celebration a memorable one.”