It’s that time of year again when we embrace the festive season and celebrate our own personal meaning of Christmas and the joy/stress it brings to each of us. For some, it means no school and more gadgets from Santa and for others it means gathering the family and for that yearly bonding session. Whatever it is, we tend to make a substantial financial and/or emotional investment with all the intentions of balancing the budget in the new year only to find we don’t have the tools or means to do it.
For those of you that didn’t quite follow my previous Christmas post or haven’t read it, I will give you some critical tips for surviving Christmas.
Christmas comes but once a year and we all love the gift of giving, right? However, I have spoken to many people who crave the sales and can’t resist maxing out their credit card for the joy of showing love through material debt. Agree on a budget for Christmas, write a list of those who will receive a gift and divide it by that figure making adjustments for those closer such as immediate family.
If there is a hint of overspending you need a recovery plan. Don’t wait until Christmas is over, your mindset will change. Do it NOW. How will you pay off this additional debt and what sacrifices will you make to clear it. Eg. Alcohol free until the debt is gone or no takeout.
Don’t buy bundles of Christmas cards this year. Instead, buy the little stickers that go on the presents from the two dollar shop. If you are not planning on giving a gift then put the sticker on some blank paper and write a short personalised message.
I know a couple that gave a gift card to their friend. Their friend then went and bought an identical gift card and gave it to the couple. Both friends were out of pocket fifty dollars, an expense none could afford. Talk to your friends (if possible) and agree that you don’t need a gift to prove you like each other. A phone call or coffee visit is good enough.
Make your own gift baskets. Personalised gift baskets are a great way of expressing your gratitude to family and friends AND you can do them cheap. They are also fun to make.
Don’t sign up for a store card. The interest rate that you end up paying can make it very difficult to pay off and also adding the temptation to use it later.
I hope these simple tips help you over the coming holiday season and from my family to your’ s: MERRY CHRISTMAS.