Christmas gifts, decorations, charity events, and dinners, the holiday season can be an especially stressful time for families financially. To avoid spending a fortune, it’s best to set out a budget plan now and prepare to reduce the financial stress as much as possible. After all, Christmas should be a time of joy and beautiful moments spent with your loved ones above anything else. Here are our best tips to enjoy it debt-free:
Talk to your friends and family
Talking about money is difficult, especially if it means having to open up about money issues. Explain to your family that you are trying to stick to a budget this Christmas. Being open about your financial planning with loved ones can help them understand your struggles. You would want to know if a loved one can’t afford to buy expensive gifts, but they still feel the pressure to spend the same amount on you right?
Set a budget
You should start by calculating how much you can afford to spend this Christmas. With a total budget in mind, you’ll be able to save up some money every month throughout the year that can only be used for Christmas spending. It might be useful to know that the average Christmas budget per household is around £528, £44 a month, or £10.16 a week, which includes food, presents, travel, and decorations, among other expenses.
Shop throughout the year
Why wait until December to start your Christmas shopping? Keep a lookout for sales on items that would make perfect gifts throughout the year. The holiday season is a period of time where retail often up their prices to try and make up for losses over the year. To avoid paying for overpriced gifts and keep an eye out all year when shopping. You’ll be happy to avoid that Christmas rush too.
Make your gifts
Why spend money if you can make gifts yourself? Don’t worry, you don’t have to be handy or crafty to create a gift, there are numerous ways to come up with a fun surprise. How about growing your own plants, making homemade bread and cookies, or sewing, knitting, or crocheting your gifts. It doesn’t even have to be a material gift, you could give loved ones experiences like a fun family movie night at home, baby-sitting duties, or a few home-cooked dinners throughout the year.
Host a Christmas potluck
Potluck dinners are great to spend time with friends and family while sharing the expense of the meal together. Everyone who attends simply brings a dish to the table. This simplifies the meal planning and distributes the costs among the participants.
Don’t be a retail snob
We need to end obliged giving and think about what we’re giving, to whom, and why. Surely your best childhood Christmas memories aren’t about the finest-range turkeys or even getting that year’s must-have toy. Christmas should be about the build-up and experiences that involve spending more time with parents or carers. So shop only if you must, stay clear from expensive brands and find the cheaper stores. Even if you’re shopping on the high street, remember to benchmark the prices.
We offer a Christmas Club account. Members can ask staff who will set up the account and enable the regular payment deduction, making it that bit easier to budget for the next festive period. Contact us now!
Keeping on budget may not be easy, but we hope these tips can make your Christmas budget-friendly. From all of us at Central Liverpool Credit Union, we send you our best wishes for the holidays.