Christmas is a wonderful time of year for so many, but for others it can cause a lot of worries and anxieties and financial pressures. You want to have this holiday time to enjoy your family and friends company. Over the years Christmas has become more commercialised and the pressure to spend more and can cause emotional shopping as you want to make sure you are treating everyone. It is important to remember that Christmas is not all about presents and money, it is the thought and spending time with family members and loved ones.
There are a variety of ways you can stay on budget at Christmas. Following certain tips can really help you to reduce the stresses and the pressure that Christmas brings. I am sharing 8 tips that you can follow to help you stay organised and on budget this Christmas.
1. Make a list of people you need to buy for at Christmas
Making a list of everyone you need to buy for this year, gives you a starting point and allows you to be organised and not do the dreaded thing and forget anyone. Once you have brought presents and cards for each one you can tick each person off the list. This will help you know how much you have left to complete before Christmas.
2. Set a strict budget for Christmas presents and one that you can afford
Setting yourself an exact budget whether that is an amount for each person or an overall budget. Setting a strict budget is great but you need to make sure it is an attainable budget for your finances. Once you have decided on a budget you need to stick to that budget as much as possible, this will allow you to come out of the holiday period with huge debt.
3. Ask everyone for a Christmas list, so you can buy them a present they want and not buying for the sake of buying
A more sustainable way of buying Christmas presents to ask people to make a wish list, this allows you buy gifts that your loved ones really want or need. There is no need to wasting your money on gifts that the other person will not use.
4. Do not put yourself in debt showing people you love them with gifts.
Like I stated before Christmas is about love and fun, it is not all about presents and spending money. Your family and loved ones would much rather have your company and the thought that goes into choosing a gift for them without putting yourself into debt spending thousands of pounds. Stick to your list and the presents your loved ones have shared, avoid going overboard.
5. Once you have set your spending amount you should draw that cash out.
This is another way that you can stick to the budget. You can then place the cash in an envelope or put the money onto a pre paid card, this way you can track how much money you have left.
6. Ignore the sales, stick to your shopping list and try not to overspend
Leading up to Christmas and over Christmas, shops and online stores do a lot of sales which try to entice you to buy more than you actual need for Christmas gifting or food. Try not to deviate from your list as it can lead to overspending that is where it can lead to building debt from the Christmas period.
7. Make a list of additional costs
When you are planning a budget for your Christmas holidays you will want to include additional costs. Additional costs like cards, wrapping paper, tags, decorations and food that you will also need to account for. Planning these areas will also help you keep a record of your expenditure and help you stick to your final budget.
8. No emotional spending, again stick to your list
This can be seeing something in a shop that you feel a loved one may really love and buying it because of that reason, although it is a lovely gesture this can quickly lead to you over spending again. You have to stick to that list that you have created and stick the gifts you have planned for.
Do you create a budget for Christmas? I’d love to hear in the comments.