Christmas Spending Tips
or How Overspending = A New Year Money Hangover
You know what it’s like you feel you have to buy the latest XYZ for the kids, buy pressies for every Tom, DIck and Harriet, have loads of food and drink in just in case of unexpected visitors.
But do you really need it? Well of course you don’t!
We all live to excess over Christmas often spending money we don’t have.
Over the years I’ve trimmed back on what we used to spend and now that we have limited income it’s trimmed even further. Yes I use credit cards but they are paid off IN FULL every month. I haven’t had a loan in over 20 years and not used my overdraft for 30 years. We have some savings but not enough to waste!
The main reason we manage is because I manage the incomings and outgoings well. If you’d like to see how click this link – Managing Money and working to a Budget.
Let me share a few Christmas Spending tips to help with the finances!
How are you going to finance the extra spend?
How much do you have available from wages or savings and other sources?
a) Savings – if you have more than one account use the one paying the lowest interest rate.
b) Saving Clubs / Thrift Clubs – These are a great way to spread the cost throughout the year. Open a simple savings account and transfer money to it or grab one of those saving cards in the supermarket. If you’ve not spent your food budget for the week, top up the saving card.
c) Supermarket Loyalty cards – use them throughout the year and keep all the rewards for Christmas treats.
d) Credit Cards / Store Cards – Unless you can afford to pay in full every month or you have a 0% interest offer, avoid them if you can. The interest rate is just too high!
e) Pay Day Loans – JUST DON’T do you hear me JUST DON’T. There is NOTHING you or your family want or need for Christmas that warrants using them!
Work out a budget of how much you want to spend.
How much to spend for food and drink, presents, socialising.
a) Trim back on the amount of food and drink you get. You know you’re still going to have a cupboard full well into the New Year!
b) Make more treats yourself. Make your own puds, mince pies, shortbread etc. The children will enjoy the experience too.
c) Who do you buy presents for? Why not get together and agree on a smaller budget or agree not to buy presents. (as I do with Mother in Law) Perhaps you can do something more social? Go to each others houses for a get together, cinema trip or Panto.
d) Don’t feel pressured – Your children do not need to have everything, have expensive presents. If they are old enough ask them write a list and discuss that they won’t get everything. I did this with my boys, one ‘big’ present and a few smaller ones. (OK and a couple of surprises too..I’m not an ogre!!)
Where are you going to buy your Christmas?
a) Food and drink – check sites like Money Supermarket to compare prices and look for special offers.
b) Shopping online – click into Google Shopping for prices on various sites. Shop around!
c) Cash Back – check out cash back sites and remember to use them.
d) Voucher sites – check various voucher sites for discount codes.
e) Haggle – If you’re buying several items ask if there’s any wiggle room on the total price. If you don’t ask….
I hope this will help you think about your finances over Christmas and that you don’t end up with a New Year Money Hangover.
Why not let me know if you have any tips for keeping a lid on the finances.
Disclaimer – Christmas Spending Tips is a post I’ve written with no prompt from any company or site. All words and opinions are my own.
I am NOT a financial adviser and cannot be held responsible for your money woes!