13th December 2018
It seems that the time for giving also becomes a time for worry, pressure and – for many – debt. These days it can almost seem like a competition to have the most decorations, the greatest Christmas feast and the most up-to-the minute (and expensive) presents, and it can be hard not to get caught up in it. However, there are many ways you can have a wonderful Christmas without breaking the bank.
Focus on what is important. This time of year should be about spending time with loved ones. Do not get stressed by social and materialistic expectations – concentrate on what you can afford to do, not what you cannot.
Set a budget. Work out what you can afford to spend and stick to it. Set spending limits with friends and family or club together for joint presents. Browse online for deals and try to avoid using credit cards.
Do it for the children. Adults can do without gifts, so agree with friends and family to just buy for children.
Shop at quiet times. You are less likely to get stressed and make impulse buys if you can shop without being put under pressure.
Make a list. Decide what you are going to buy for whom and stick to those decisions. Browsing can often result in purchasing more than you planned to.
Say no if you need to. People can be demanding at Christmas, so learn to say no. You may find others will be relieved if they are also feeling financial pressure themselves.
Manage expectations. Children can get caught up in the commercialism and pressures of the Christmas season. Explain that not every child has the same opportunities – you do not have to compete with other families when it comes to the best presents.
Get creative. Making your own gifts is a great way to save money and have fun at the same time. From baking seasonal specialities to crafts, photo books or framed pictures – often these personal gifts are more cherished than shop-bought ones.
Share the cost. Just because you may be hosting a Christmas get together, it does not mean you have to foot the entire bill. Ask guests to contribute – from making a food dish to a bringing bottle of bubbly.
Plan ahead. As with all areas of your finances, planning ahead is the best way to ensure Christmas does not bring stress and debt. Saving even just a little amount throughout the year can really help to ease the worry, so you can focus on enjoying quality time with your loved ones.
If you would like to discuss any aspect of your finances or wealth management, please get in touch with us on 01934 875919.