Watch your money this festive period

Is this really necessary?

It is very easy to forget to watch your money and let spending get out of control in the build up to Christmas.

Somehow it doesn’t seem as bad if we run up debt when we are buying things for other people rather than for ourselves, but starting the New Year with a massive financial burden hanging over your head is never a good thing. The spirit of giving may well be what Christmas is all about, but that doesn’t mean you have to forget to watch your money and spend a fortune. You don’t want to be speaking to the payplan bankruptcy experts come January after all.

The best thing to do before you start Christmas shopping is to make a realistic plan of what you can afford to spend in total. Alongside this make two lists; one of the people you want to buy presents for and another of your other Christmas expenditures such as food, drink, decorations and wrapping paper.

Prioritise your lists, allocate a set amount of money to each person/item and make sure you stick to that budget. It can be an idea to have a small overspill amount built into the budget but no more than £20 should be necessary.

In the run up to Christmas many major high-street retailers put on special deals aimed at festive shoppers, such as ‘three for two’ offers. Take advantage of these wherever possible. For stocking fillers and smaller presents, consider buying sets of bubble baths or chocolate bars and splitting them up.

Check out the internet for voucher codes and discount coupons to make your shopping a little more affordable. You can often find percentage discounts or bulk buy offers that you don’t see on the high street. Sign up for sites such as Humble Bundle to get some amazing gifts for as little as a dollar. Pad out gifts by adding home-made cookies wrapped in cellophane and tied with a pretty festive ribbon. You could also try making other items such as scarves, candle holders or food hampers.

If you do overspend on gifts be sure to check out in the New Year to consolidate all your debts into one affordable monthly payment, then start making saving advances for next year.

11 thoughts on “Watch your money this festive period”

  1. If you are going to see people after Christmas day, you can consider shopping on Boxing day, it will be cheaper! I used to hit the supermarket too for heavily discounted food after Christmas.

  2. Fortunately, we’ve learned to be fairly disciplined when buying Christmas gifts. When we were really focused on getting out of debt, we cut back on gifts completely and still maintain a very low gift amount for each person (or couple). Prioritizing is the most important aspect because if you’ve yet to learn that material possessions aren’t everything, then you’ve got some struggles ahead of you.

  3. If there is one thing we’ve learned, its’ that best deals come AFTER Christmas is over!

  4. Christmas is one of the hardest times to stick to a budget. Once I get out there shopping I often times end up in way to generous of a mood! The day after Christmas is a great day to shop though, I totally agree if you aren’t seeing someone till after Christmas, put off your shopping till then. Just make sure you already know what you’re buying them of course! 

  5. For stocking stuffers, we always go to the dollar store. Aside from that, we do have a pretty strict budget for gifts. It helps that there is a price limit for the family gift exchange.

  6. Like Edward, we have always had a price limit for family gifts. One grandmother who was in the generation before mine used to tuck the change in with the gift if it was less than the limit – bless her!

    Now, we only buy presents for the grandchildren and, because they are so scattered and we don’t really know what they want, we give money so they can choose for themselves.

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