18 December, 2018

How to Keep on Top of Your Finances This Christmas

Christmas is expensive. Not only that, but with New Year on the horizon too, many people have costly plans inspired by the arrival of the new year; new cars, home renovations, extravagant family holidays etc. The end of one year and the dawn of another makes millions collectively think ‘what the hell’, and then they spend more than they perhaps should.

Photo by Benjamin Child on Unsplash

Of course, not everyone can afford to spend extortionate amounts on their loved ones. At this time of year, that ‘one last big spend’ outlook with your money is more tempting than ever, but not always wise to satisfy.

Consequently, here’s how to keep on top your finances this Christmas.

Who You Buy For

Christmas comes with a great deal of pressure. It can feel like you owe everybody in your life something; a gesture of appreciation, hours upon hours of your time in costly train or car journeys for visits, or expensive presents. Well, it’s time to debunk these myths.

You know who you value most in your life, and frankly, these are the only people who need your love and money this Christmas!

Sometimes, a cheap card is enough for most people. Don’t buy gifts for anyone but your immediate family or undertake expensive journeys to people who you can probably do without.

Moreover, if a secret Santa happens at work and your finances are thin, don’t be afraid to back out. Sure, rejecting these situations might make you be viewed as a bit of a Grinch, but your bank balance will be stronger for it. Priorities first!

Energy Bills

People put a lot of festive lights up at Christmas time. Some houses can be littered with elaborate decorations outside that wind their way across the rooftops in blazing glory night after night.

Of course, then comes the indoor Christmas trees, fairy lights, lit up garlands, fireplaces and more. As it’s winter, the heating can be left on all day too, and as the nights grow darker faster, the lights come on earlier, and for longer, too.

Obviously, this will all tally up in terms of expense. There’s a lot to pay for here, and for many people, it’s nothing short of excessive.

If this is you, consider prioritising what you actually need; this will be your heating and your main lights, used occasionally and not all the time. Therefore, consider leaving your Christmas lights and fireplaces off every once in a while, and use everything else only when necessary to save money.

Cars and Financing

Granted, purchasing a new car doesn’t quite seem like the true definition of saving money. That said, it can help you cut costs if you’re looking to downsize. Perhaps your children have moved out, so now there’s less need for a big vehicle to accommodate a family.

Alternatively, perhaps you just want a smaller car for any number of reasons; comfort, style or for ease of driving.

Moreover, you may just want to go without a car, whether that’s indefinitely or just temporarily. No matter your reasons, you can secure a car valuation online from AA, and can even sell your car through their services.

After all, cars are an enormous expense both at the point of purchase and as an ongoing asset needing maintenance and repairs. If money is wearing thin and you’re considering moving on from your vehicle, go for it!

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Midlife mum from Cardiff. Wine Imbiber. Likes glitter, fluff and olives. Approaching tweendom with Caitlin (11) and Ieuan (10). The husband is hiding in the loft.

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