Top Five Tips for Spreading the Cost of Christmas
It’s not easy, but spreading the cost of Christmas is entirely possible. It requires an incredible amount of discipline, in many cases, with so many tempting delights in the toy stores wishing themselves off the shelves and into your already bulging trolley.
By being a little careful and planning your Christmas in advance, you will have the best chance of affording the festive season this year, rather than resorting to the credit card or dipping into your savings that were meant for something else.
Budget, budget, budget!
Setting a budget (and sticking to it) is certainly not easy, especially as more things come to mind as Christmas draws near, but it’s the only failsafe way of being sensible and organised ahead of the festive season.
Write a list
Make a list of everyone you have to buy for and any ideas that you have in mind for them. Your daughter may be dreaming of that cutesy doll’s house she’s seen; perhaps your son has his eyes on the Fisher-Price Imaginext Castle to aid in his imaginative medieval quests, or maybe your other half would love some new golf clubs. Whatever it is they’re after, write it down and make a note of how much it all costs so that you can see whether it’s affordable.
Try an experience
Psychological studies show that experiences can bring a lot of happiness, especially
Spread the Purchases
If you start now, you will still be able to benefit from one or two more pay days before the big day. Many people may have already started the buying process but if you haven’t, it’s not too late! Last year, 13million people were expected to head for the high street for some last-minute buys; don’t be one of them if you don’t have to be.
Transferring some money into a separate account, savings or otherwise, would mean that you know exactly what you have to spend without breaking into money that you need on a day-to-day basis. Look out for the supermarket savings schemes too – while you may have to spend the money in-store, you’d be surprised at what they stock nowadays.
Debt in any form is bad news, especially when it’s to purchase frivolous buys that you don’t need. Stick to the simple rule of thumb – if you can’t afford it, don’t spend it. Try to avoid resorting to store cards and credit cards unless you absolutely have to.
Christmas isn’t all about the giving of presents; it’s about quality time as a family. Your kid’s faces will be a picture regardless of what they have, so don’t panic and enjoy an affordable Christmas!
What are your top tips for saving money over Christmas? Send over your comments and share your tips with the community
*Collaborative feature post*