Christmas is a popular time for people to spend way more money than they can actually afford. Christmas quite literally breaks the bank. If you’ve got kids, it’s tempting to buy them everything on their Christmas lists and more, but this can mean a struggle at the start of the new year. Here are some of my tips to make sure you don’t break the bank this Christmas:
Write a List and Stick to it
Sit down and take the time to write a list. On this list, include who you intend on buying something for, what you’re thinking of buying them, and the amount you’re thinking of spending on them. Then you need to promise yourself you’ll stick to this list. Christmas shopping without a list can be very dangerous for your finances. The smallest amounts can add up. Remember, it isn’t about buying the most expensive gifts for people, but the most thoughtful. You can find lots of helpful gift lists online if you need some inspiration.
Set a Budget
When you have an idea of how much you want to spend on each person, set a budget. Make sure you can afford this budget. If you can’t, work out where you can cut back on certain people/gifts. The earlier you start putting money towards your budget in the year, the better you’ll feel when it’s time to go Christmas shopping. Yes, Christmas shopping in August can be depressing, but it all helps to avoid being broke during the new year.
Consider Credit Accounts
Obtaining a credit account is an option, although you’ll need to proceed with caution. Providing you pay everything back on time, you can actually help your credit score. However, if you don’t you can get yourself into financial difficulty. The key is not to spend or borrow too much, so know exactly what you can afford. This can help to spread out the cost of Christmas. Some catalogues offer credit accounts for Christmas and other times you might need help, so take a look and see what you think.
Before buying something, compare prices in different stores first to see if you can get it any cheaper. Every little helps, especially at this time of year.
Make Stuff Yourself
Why not get your creative head on and make some stuff yourself? This will save you a ton of money, and people will appreciate the thought and effort you’ve put into their gifts a lot more. You could make a food hamper, pamper hamper, cupcakes, a canvas, or anything else you can think of.
Give to Charity
Instead of buying cards for every Tom, Dick, and Harry, why not give to charity in their name? You could even do this instead of buying a gift if you don’t know what to buy. You’ll save money and do good for the world. How could they not appreciate it?
These tips will help you to keep your finances in check ready for the start of the new year. The earlier the plan, and the more effort you put into making rather than buying, the more money you’ll save!
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