Christmas really is a wonderful time a year- a chance to spend time with loved ones, make memories, swap gifts and enjoy delicious food and drink. But it can be stressful too since there’s a lot to do and it can be really expensive, it’s tricky if you’re on a tight budget. Here are some of the things you can do to keep that December debt down and not let the cost of Christmas run away with you.
Set a budget and stick to it
Set a budget- it’s one of the best pieces of financial advice anyone can give you when it comes to Christmas as it’s so easy to get carried away. If you can only afford to spend X amount, then ensure you stick to that. If you start dipping into bill money and other cash which is accounted for, you’ll only regret it in the new year. It will take forever to catch up again and you might end up accumulating interest and arrears in while you do.
Write lists and don’t overbuy
One of the best ways to spend your money wisely is to write lists and stick to them. This includes lists of presents and their costs, lists of food items, wrapping paper, decorations and anything else you might need. Add up the costs roughly before you buy, and you can then start eliminating items that are less important if you cant afford it all. Dont be tempted to over buy- food is one thing that most of us can go totally overboard with at Christmas. Work out what meals you’ll be having and buy for these, and then get a few extras for the freezer and cupboards. You can buy some treats without going wild and blowing the budget, you don’t need to be eating Christmas chocolate into January.
Sell what you no longer use
One great way to raise money for Christmas while decluttering your home to make way for new things, is to sell things in your home that you no longer have use for. Clothes, kids toys, old technology, antiques, whatever you’re selling there’s always a buyer out there. Since people are looking for inexpensive and unique items for Christmas presents at the moment, now is a good time to sell too. List them on places like eBay or Facebook marketplace.
Next year- spread the cost
It’s too late to spread the cost now with Christmas right around the corner, but if you’re struggling and want to make a change next year the best thing you can do is start earlier. Begin picking up items as early as September, even if you buy one thing a week you’ll be almost set by the time December comes around. Otherwise, you could start saving money throughout the year specifically for Christmas.