Christmas is a time for giving, but within that, it’s also prudent to remain on top of our own personal finances. While it’s more than easy to get carried away at this time of year, it’s possible to have an incredible festive period without being overly extravagant and costing ourselves in the long-term.
While there is an unfortunate stigma attached to the concept of seeming ‘cheap’ during a season where overindulgence is celebrated, living within your means shouldn’t be looked down upon. Causing long-term financial difficulty to yourself on account of Christmas shouldn’t even be a consideration – but there are ways of having the kind of Christmastime you desire without overstretching.
Agree On A Spending Limit For Presents
Whether it’s with friends, family or your significant other, setting an upper limit on how much you’re allowed to each spend is an excellent way of ensuring that everyone concerned is on the same page where costs are concerned. With so many plates to spin where spending on loved ones is concerned, by establishing an agreed spend across the board you have a far clearer and accurate picture of what you’re likely to spend, so can adjust accordingly.
Any awkwardness in discussing money is easily avoided by emphasising the challenge element of having a ceiling on what you can spent, and by calling it an ‘upper limit’ rather than a budget, it’s less about what you should spend and more about what you can if you so wish.
Be Smarter With Food Shopping
The secret to success with Christmas food shopping is making your mind up early. While you shouldn’t take delivery of the produce until as close to the big day as possible, what you can do is pre-order your meat, vegetables and all of the trimmings ahead of time at a better price, saving you both the hassle of a last-minute dash around the supermarket and money overall.
Most large brands will have offers available in the run up to Christmas, and should you check their festive catalogues, it’s more than likely that they’ll have order forms included. Order far enough in advance and you can split the cost of the season across several paydays and have peace of mind knowing that both what you want and need will be waiting for you as fresh as possible ready for collection at the ideal time.
Don’t Ignore Other Financial Commitments
With it being such an all-consuming time of year, it’s not unheard of for people to turn a blind-eye to their financial commitments away from present and food shopping. Even if you’re saving for a holiday in 2019, building toward a house deposit or needing a new car, you shouldn’t let Christmas knock those other plans off schedule.
Planning for a long-term financial commitment isn’t easy, and while you can pay off a large holiday at once if you’ve been saving long enough, things like mortgages and affording a new car don’t tend to be as easy.
However, with most large banks offering their own loan tools online, and trustworthy brands such as the AA having their own line of car finance – including their own easy to use finance calculator – there is plenty of help directly accessible to you to ensure you don’t mismanage your money, which does include at Christmas.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.