(This article was originally published on the 14th May 2017 and updated on the 18th May 2020).
Many of us in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and other parts of the world will be celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri differently this year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this would be the first time for many to celebrate this festivity at home.
Although ‘balik kampung’ is not allowed, you can still celebrate and prepare Raya festivities from the comfort of your own home. The good news is you do not have to break the bank as you prepare for the festivities.
One of the best ways to ensure that you do not overspend is to set a budget for each category of items that you will need. Here is a list of free online budgeting apps that you can use to track your monthly expenses.
Once you have done that, let’s find out what are the potential four biggest expenses and how you can save as you spend on these essentials!
There is nothing like the feeling of putting on a fresh outfit on Raya morning! It is always fun to dress your best especially after being stuck at home for some period of time. This would be a good booster to lift up your Raya spirits!
Unfortunately, the cost of buying festive attire is increasingly expensive. If you have to shop for an entire family, there is a good chance that you will be spending more than you would like. One option to reduce costs for Raya apparel is to shop online. Sites like Zalora, Poplook, Losravelda, Kamdar and more have an extensive selection of clothing for various style, design and price ranges.
What you will need to do is to take accurate measurements to ensure that you get the right size. Some online stores offer exchange policies too if you are unsatisfied with your purchase. If you are buying clothing for the entire family, another option would be to visit wholesalers such as Kenanga Wholesale City mall.
2. Duit Raya
As a staple of the festivities, handing out little green envelops with money in it is a meaningful and generous tradition of giving and receiving. While some could not travel interstate for house visits, you can rely on giving ‘Duit Raya’ via online transfers to your family members. For instance, Maybank has the e-Duit Raya function that you can try out with.
Sometimes, it can get costly if you hand out‘Duit Raya’to many. Perhaps, what you can do is give the bare minimum of RM1. After all, it is the thought that counts. Alternatively, there are many creative and inexpensive items you can give such as bookmarks and gift coupons that you can replace with the usual ‘Duit Raya’. Gift giving in Islam strengthens ties of kinship. We also found a few funky and interesting things you can give out as Duit Raya that aren’t money.
What is a Raya get-together without your favourite dishes and Raya kuih? Rendang, ketupat, lemang, and delectable traditional Malay desserts are a big part of this festive experience! The Movement Control Order (MCO) has been relaxed to allow a maximum of 20 people to gather in a space.
Although open houses are prohibited, you can still celebrate Hari Raya and gather with your siblings and family members. Split the cost of food bills among siblings or simply hold a potluck to save money and still enjoy good food together. In addition, be sure to choose simple and cost-friendly deserts to serve such as Kuih Semperit and Cornflakes Madu.
4. Household Touch-Ups
Whether or not you are receiving guests, half the festive fun is in prepping and decorating your home. The list of improvements includes (but is not limited to) new paint, fresh cushion covers, bed sheets and curtains. Of course, these can cost a bundle. The best way to trim costs and still have your home looking good is to selectively buy just a few new items, reuse what is still in good condition, rearrange furniture, repaint your coffee tables or cabinets and opt to DIY for the décor. Here are some budget friendly home décor ideas for Hari Raya that you can try out with!
Lastly, to those who are celebrating Raya, don’t forget to snap lots of photos. Since everyone is already dressed up, it would be memorable to commemorate this unique Hari Raya celebration. Be creative and you can even DIY the best spot in your house as the backdrop for your Raya family pictures. In conclusion, you don’t need spend a huge sum to celebrate a meaning Hari Raya. Just be mindful and practice conscious spending.
If you are looking for extra cash this Hari Raya to make the festivities even more special, apply with Direct Lending for a personal loan at affordable rates as low as 3.9% and get your funds as fast as 2 working days.
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