It’s that time of year again when everyone embraces the festive merriment. Christmas is a wonderful time of having, giving, receiving and sharing. For helping those less fortunate, and enjoying what we have. And it’s important to have as wonderful a time as it’s possible to have. But this will mean that you need to spend money to achieve this as well.
So, you need to understand the sorts of costs you’re going to be facing at Christmas time. As a family, you may be facing an expensive time at Christmas. That's why it’s really important to keep on top of your finances and do as much as you can to make your money stretch further. The way to do this is to make sure you have a bit of financial foresight so that you will prevent problems as Christmas forays ever nearer. In this post, we are going to explore the ways in which you can make better financial decisions to help you over the festive period that little bit more.
How Are You Doing Christmas?
It’s important to think about how you are going to do Christmas this year. There are a lot of options you may have that will help you to reduce the cost and expense over the festive season. It’s just important to think about what you are planning for the festive season. Will you host, or are you going to some else’s house? Is it going to be a family affair, or would you rather spend it together just you guys? This is something you have to figure out first because it is going to dictate other costs. The best thing to do is to consider what you want to get out of this Christmas, and who you will be spending it with. Then you will be perfectly placed to be able to sort out a budget and get to grips with how much this is likely to cost you as a family.
Be Sensible About Presents
Yes, Christmas is a time for giving, and you want to get presents for the family. But you also need to be sensible about it. Don't be one of those parents who spends hundreds of dollars on presents for your kids every year and then wonder why you're struggling financially. Christmas doesn't have to cost the Earth, but a lot of that comes down to the approach you choose to take. Consider what the kids want for presents and then make decisions based on that. You don't have to get them everything on their list. In fact, you don't even have to get them anything that's on the list. It's more important to think about what will make good presents that are also affordable. You could even get creative and consider making presents to curb the costs, and you should certainly set a limit.
Money Saving Ideas
Money saving ideas are the best way of making sure you can enjoy an affordable family Christmas. So, let’s look at some of the ways in which you can save costs over the festive season. Well, for one thing, you should consider getting yourself an artificial tree. This is cost-effective as it can be resumed again and again, and will cost considerably less than a fresh one. The cleanup job will also be less intense and strenuous! You could make your own decorations for the tree as well, and this can turn into a fun family project for the kids. It’s a cost-effective way of personalizing the home a bit more and having the whole family involved too. You may also want to consider shopping the sales and going for bargains as much as you possibly can. Charity gifts are a good way of saving some money, and you also need to think harder about who you are giving gifts to. Regifting is always a clever way of saving money as well because it means you don't have to buy a new gift.
As well as making savings on your Christmas you also have to bear in mind that you need to start generating savings. And it’s important to do this now! You don't want to get bogged down in the financial problems that come with an expensive festive season. So, you need to make sure you are careful with your cash, and that you start to save up any disposable income. There are plenty of savings tips that you can apply to everyday life in general, but you also need to think about the Christmas period. Consider why it’s important to generate savings and have a financial safety net. In fact, you might actually have money saved up already, in which case you can choose what to do with it. It might be a good idea to give some of this away to charity or do something good with the money. Out, you could save it for a rainy day so you can start the new year off on the right sort of financial footing.
DIY a Lot of It
One of the best ideas you can employ to save money over the Christmas period is to DIY a lot of it. We've already talked a bit about making presents and decorations, but you could really make the most of this. It’s important that you consider the best ways to enjoy a DIY Christmas. Hopefully, you will have a lot of Christmas related bits and pieces at home already from previous years. It’s time to take out the tree, decorations and gift wrap and use them, as opposed to buying more. You could make a lot of the Christmas food or snacks from scratch. Decorating the home yourself and going for DIY presents and refreshments is always a great way of saving money. You might choose to make Christmas cards to hand out as well. A DIY Christmas might seem like quite a lot of work, but this financial foresight can really help the family have a stress free Christmas period.
A great gift idea for Christmas is to come up with a Secret Santa system. This may not be the right approach if you have young kids. But it works if your children are grown up, and it’s perfect between friends as well. You basically implement a Secret Santa approach to gifts. That way you don't have a scenario where each person has to buy something for everyone else. This can be problematic because people will often be stifling financially, and will feel obligated to buy a lot of presents. With Secret Santa, everyone will receive fewer gifts, but you will find that it is a fairer way of doing things, and more cost-effective. Using Secret Santa will save you a lot of money over Christmas, as well as making things much less stressful and intensive.
Give Something Back
A lot of people like to give back at Christmas time, and why not?! After all, it’s the time of goodwill and generosity, and a lot of people have it tough around Christmas. You may want to give something back, but you could feel as though you don't have the finances to do that. Well, with a bit of financial planning you could actually do some real good without spending a lot, or anything. One idea you might try to implement is a unique twist on the advent calendar. Rather than buying traditional chocolate calendars you instead get a box. And each advent day adds something to the box by way of food or clothing. Then at the end of the process, you can take it to a homeless shelter or food bank. The great thing about this approach is that it helps you to do some good without costing too much. You can select a lot of food and clothing from home to add to the advent box.
Do You Really Want to Take Out That Loan?
Many people make the decisions to take out loans to get them through the Christmas period. And this is something that might even have crossed your mind as well. If so then you need to think hard about whether it’s the right choice for you. As a family are you going to benefit from taking out this loan, or is it going to lead to further long-term problems. Many people find themselves falling foul of high interest rate debt as a result of taking out loans. So this is something that you need to consider carefully and with a great deal of caution as well. Loans can seem like a good idea, and a way out of trouble, but can often prove to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Make sure you think a hard about whether you really want to take out the loan.
You have to make a lot of important financial decisions over the festive period. And if you can plan in advance and be practical you will have no issues with your money. Hopefully, the ideas and advice on this post will work wonders for you. Christmas should be a time of year that everyone can enjoy and in order to do that you need to get your finances in order. So these are some of the most effective ways you can go about achieving that.