PROPERTY NEWS - Out of the 261 working days this year, most of us are eagerly anticipating those few December leave days that we've worked so hard for. Unfortunately, many of us forget to think ahead and set aside money to allow us to make the most of the holiday season.
If you happen to find yourself in this hopelessly under-supplied boat, sailing towards holiday bankruptcy, perhaps you might consider a no-spend month enjoying a quiet time at home instead of going out on expensive weekend adventures.
"For millennials, this might mean a quiet month for their social media profiles, but for the generations that came before them, it won't be such a novel concept. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the weekend without needing to put a foot out of your front door. That's why it's so important to find a property that you love spending time in," says regional director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett.
But, while it might be easy enough to spend one or two weekends tinkering about at home, tackling household projects and just catching up on some quality downtime, eventually the need to socialise will have your wallet beckoning you to its side.
To resist its tempting exclamations, homeowners should get creative and find ways of making their home the place to be during this month. Below are a few cost-effective ways RE/MAX of Southern Africa suggests on how homeowners can entertain from home during this no-spend month:
Host bring and braais
Quite conveniently, South Africans' favourite pastime also happens to be one of the most affordable ways of entertaining. And this time of the year, the weather could not be more perfect for an outdoor gathering. Invite some friends over for a bring & braai.
The only thing you'll need to provide is the fire, some cutlery, and gees. If you don't have any outdoor space, then fry some wors on your stove, buy some rolls, switch on the rugby and have a jol!
Throw a blind tasting party
Another way to lure people to your place is to invite them to a blind wine tasting. In this case, the only thing you'll need to supply are the wine glasses.
Each guest is invited to bring their own bottle of wine which they hand to you upon arrival. As the host, you cover the labels of the bottles (in tin foil, paper, or anything you have at home) and fill everyone's glasses with mystery wine.
Guests then rate each bottle and try and guess the cultivar. At the end of the night, the labels are revealed and the ratings are tallied to reveal which bottle was the crowd favourite.
This game works best if there are a variety of price points in the wine selection, as this often leaves any wine snobs in the room rather shocked at the results.
Chocolate or cheese fondues
While it's not the social norm to ask your friends to bring ingredients for a meal you'll share together, it is widely acceptable to ask them to bring their favourite dunking treat for a chocolate or cheese fondue.
All you'll need to supply is a fondue set, some chocolate / cheese and a splash of milk.
The great thing about this is that you don't need a lot of space to host a night like this. If you don't have a dining room set that everyone can sit around to dip their treats, then set up an Asian-inspired indoor picnic in your lounge or, weather permitting, set up the set in your backyard.
"For buyers who want to lower their entertaining expenses, I would suggest that they search for a property that allows them to host people at their own homes.
"This will save them the expense of having to go out every weekend. For homeowners who cannot stand the idea of spending a month in their current home, it might be time to consider what else is out there.
"Given a different home more to their liking, they might find the idea more appealing," Goslett concludes.
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