Christmas is that time of year where many of us get sucked into the vortex where money becomes disposable and we swipe that poor credit card until it can’t cope anymore. What is it about the festive season that makes us just want to buy, buy, buy, and buy some more?
Under normal circumstances – like any other month of the year, we wouldn’t dream of spending half the amount we convince ourselves that we can during the festive season, primarily because of our financial responsibilities that don’t stop coming just because it is Christmas – like our mortgage, school fees, and other bills.
The Slippery Spending Slope
So how do we prevent ourselves from getting into so much debt that we start the New Year fresh with a mountain of stress and bills piling up? It is most certainly not a nice way to start a new year especially when we had that stress all of last year and the year before because we rolled down that slippery spending slope.
There are some ways you can avoid going back there this Christmas season. And with just a bit of money savvy, you can still enjoy some nice luxuries without spending the whole of the next year paying it off. Here are a few ways for how to make Christmas affordable.
Firstly work out how much you have or how much you can afford to spend. Then you need to work out how to spread this across everything you have to buy. This includes food and presents. So many people make the mistake of setting a limit for their gift spending but forget just how much money gets spent on food and drink. Sit down and make a list of who you have to buy for. Set a limit and allocate the amount according to your pre-determined criteria – who is more important and gets more spent on them? Make a grocery/drinks list. Even rough pricing will help you build an entertainment budget.
Do the work to set the budget but work even harder to stick to it!
2. Think Ahead
If you didn’t have the foresight to buy your holiday gifts on Black Friday or Cyber Monday (make sure you do so in 2019) there’s still the January Sales. So many things are vastly reduced at this time so buy ahead for Christmas 2019. It isn’t always practical to buy gifts that you’ll have to store for a whole year but cards, gift wrap, and decorations are all at knock down prices in January.
3. USE COUPONS
Dump that stigma of coupons immediately; it is the smart and savvy people that are using the coupons to help them stay in budget. You get far more for your money and you can get incredible deals when you use coupons. Yes, it is an effort, yes you may feel embarrassed, get over it, and get yourself something special when you still have money left over after a big Christmas shop. You will be delighted with the savings.
With some foresight and care, Christmas 2018 should be affordable and still be a brilliant celebration, the costs of which do not linger long into 2019.