Manage your money this Ramadan
The blessed month of Ramadan - where Muslims across the world unite in a period of fasting, self-evaluation and spiritual growth - is with us once again.
Ramadan is a time of celebration and giving, and so it is hardly surprising that it often proves to be the most expensive period of the year, with money being spent on gifts, food and gatherings with friends and family. However, it is possible to minimise the extra expenditure this Ramadan. Just follow our five tips below:
1. Create a Ramadan budget
It's not too late to create a Ramadan budget. You’ll need to sit down with your family and create a comprehensive list of everything you plan to do over Ramadan and Eid – for example, buying presents and cards, hosting dinners for friends and family, travelling – and work out the likely costs. You may find that you do not have the budget to do as many activities as you wished. If this is the case, embrace the opportunity to experience a more modest Ramadan. If you believe you do have enough money, but end up overspending, make sure you know why. This will ensure that you will budget more effectively next year.
2. Buy food mindfully
Understandably, it can be all too easy to buy too much food for Suhoor and Iftar. However, in order to save money and stay healthy, try to avoid the rich special dishes, and instead eat simple, wholesome food - and not too much. This will give you the energy that you need for the long hours of fasting. Try to balance your meals with food from all of the major food groups:
- fruit and vegetables
- bread, cereals and potatoes
- meat, fish, eggs, beans or protein alternatives
- milk and dairy foods
- foods containing fat and sugar
Try to reduce your intake of food that contains refined carbohydrates (ie. sugar and white flour), and fatty food (eg. cakes, biscuits, chocolates and sweets like Indian mithai) as they will not give your body the nourishment it needs. For more information on how to prepare yourself for Ramadan fasting, including meal plans and a video, please go to the NHS page on a Healthy Ramadan:
3. Shop smart
Last minute shopping often proves to be more expensive, so whether it is outfits, food or gifts, it pays to give yourself as much time as possible. With more time, you will be able to shop around and compare prices, to make sure you get the best value for your money. Buying in advance where possible will also help – whether buying Eid gifts throughout the year, or buying good Ramadan food in bulk to prepare and freeze or store until needed.
4. Make, or personalise, Eid cards and gifts
Making your own Eid cards and gifts means that you can give something truly unique to your friends and family. You can make something that truly reflects the recipient’s personality and interests, and if you don’t feel like tackling a whole gift, you can personalise shop bought gifts with handmade extras. If you need inspiration, you’ll find many craft tutorials online. Creating Ramadan cards and gifts is also a great activity for children, as it helps them better understand the joy and wonder of Ramadan.
5. Review your savings habits
An important part of Ramadan is contemplation, and so it is a good opportunity to review how you are living your life, and where you might like to make positive changes. If you decide you’d like to become better at saving, Al Rayan Bank has a number of Sharia-compliant, halal savings products to help you. To discuss your savings needs, or how you can make your savings work harder for you, please ring our Customer Services team on 0800 4086 407, who will be happy to help you.