The Christmas adverts are on the telly and the jingles in the shops. Hopes are high for a better Christmas than last year. This should be a time of happiness and cheer but if you have money worries then Christmas is going to compound them unless you plan ahead. You may be wondering how on earth you are going to cope with the added expense that Christmas brings but I am here to tell you that you can take steps to reduce your money worries, leaving yourself time and space to enjoy the festivities.
As we move towards the festive season and all the costs that entails, why not consider how you budget for Christmas? It’s easy to get caught up on spending in the run up to the big day. Easy to get into the spirit and excitement and start spending too much on presents and ignoring your budget.
This year, even more than usual, people are going to want Christmas to be even more special as we were stopped from doing much last year. But remember, this doesn’t mean you have to spend more. There is no need to add to your money worries.
The expenses add up when you take account of everything: Christmas cards, presents, fancy clothes, postage, food, drink, decorations – the list seems endless. However, you can still have a wonderful time without putting yourself in a difficult position with money.
The last couple of years have been difficult for many financially. Don’t add to your financial stress.
Put some of these tips in place today to help you keep your budget under control. If you can’t manage to do them all this year, maybe do some straight away and keep some actions for future years. At least that will mean you are better prepared.
Hi. I’m Anna Goodwin, your friendly finance mentor. With over 30 years of experience, I know how important it is to budget and plan ahead.
You may feel that you want to spend more this year to compensate for things we have had to do without in 2021. However, think about what you have missed most. I doubt they are material things. You are more likely to have missed spending time with loved ones than not being able to buy the latest dress or mobile phone.
Decide on your budget and stick to it. Then you may have a bit extra in 2022 to spend on the things you’ve missed when you can do them again!
Tips to control your spending
1. Plan ahead before buying presents.
2. Consider the 4-gift rule for children (and adults, for that matter!):
3. Prepare a budget for all your festive costs – and stick to it!
Don’t forget to include:
- Presents and wrapping paper
- Cards and postage
- Food and drink
- Visiting friends and relatives
4. Save money by making gifts and cards.
You could have a craft day with the children to make cards and edible gifts. You could make use of old Christmas cards to make labels or use plain brown paper for wrapping gifts and make them pretty with greenery from the garden or encouraging the children to decorate the paper.
5. Use price comparison websites so that you know you are getting the best deal online.
You can also make best use of bulk offers such as 3 for 2 on gifts – but don’t buy gifts just for the sake of the offer; only get them if those gifts are on your list.
6. Research any free activities or events you can attend
It is not easy taking control of your finances if you aren’t used to it and sometimes it can feel like you are in such a hole with money worries that you don’t know where to start. But it does get easier! Even taking one step to controlling your spending is a step in the right direction.
In the meantime, you could contact a personal finance mentor to help you plan your expenses throughout the year. Also, I have a personal finance pack which will give you tools to guide you in getting rid of your money worries.
As you go about your daily tasks both at home and at work, think about any expenditure you can cut back on. As I say, every step helps. Prepare a Christmas budget and stick to it! You’ve got this. You can have the best time without spending too much.
Let me know if you put any of these actions in place or even if you have any other ideas on how to save money at Christmas.
Wishing you a wonderful time with your nearest and dearest.