Christmas isn’t too far away now. We have seen things in the stores for the past couple of months. But have you been dreading the thought of getting everything ready for the holidays? Unless you plan financially for the next few weeks, then it can spiral out of control. One of the things you want to avoid is getting into debt. That would be a big mistake that you’d be paying for throughout the year. So what should you do instead?
One of the biggest costs that we have is buying gifts. Just gifts. The food isn’t going to cost too much more than it would anyway. So it is the gifts that end up costing us a lot. How many of us can remember what gifts we gave or received last year? I don’t think many of us will. Especially our children. They can get so many things, but how much do they use or remember? It is a good idea to give fewer gifts each year. The best thing to do is take more time over the gifts, though. The more thoughtful the gifts are, the more they will mean. So you could think about gifts that are perhaps handmade. Or just choose things that are that little bit more special. When you take the time to think of someone and what they might like, it means much more than quantity.
One thing that happens a lot over the holidays is that there are so many parties. They can end up costing a lot of money, though. We might feel the need to spend a lot on gifts, or perhaps new outfits. But in reality, why should you get into debt for a new outfit for a party? If you wanted something a little different, could you borrow from a friend or family member? Going to parties shouldn’t put you out of pocket. If you find that you are spending more than you earn, then you might want some advice. You could look at the Money Advice Service or somewhere like The Fortunate Investor online.
Another way to save is with decorations. There are a wealth of sources online with tutorials to help you decorate your home. There are many inexpensive ways to decorate. You can make garlands out of pine cones and popcorn, for example. You could make a wreath with foliage from the garden, or use candy canes as part of a table centerpiece. It doesn’t have to cost a lot to decorate your home for the holidays.
Above all, you need to spend what you are able to spend. Getting into debt for gifts is just unnecessary. Starting from the new year, it might be a good idea to put something away like $20 a month, for example. Then by the end of the year, you’ve got $240. It isn’t a huge amount, but it will help pay for pretty much all of the Christmas gifts, right? Then just prioritize your spending, and you will be able to make the most of your money. Have a great holiday season.