It’s without doubt that Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, but for some it can cause one major financial headache with some of us still repaying Christmas debt a whopping nine months later. If you spend the rest of the year just about making ends meet, the costs of Christmas could result in some un-necessary debt which if things really hit the fan and in the worst cases could lead to an IVA or a Trust Deed and a whole lot of stress.
This is why Creditfix have put together the top 10 ways that you can do your best to stay debt free throughout the Christmas period, giving yourself the best start to the next 12 months.
Look at who you buy for
It might be a slightly taboo subject to bring up with your family and friends. But if you are really struggling with funds this Christmas, perhaps you should look at exactly who you buy Christmas presents for.
Most of us have a number of family members or friends that we end up buying gifts for. How about suggesting to them that you arrange a Secret Santa approach to gift buying? That way, everyone has a good quality present to open, rather than several smaller token (and possibly unwanted) items.
Make room and make cash
This isn’t only a money saving tip, but a space saving one too. If you are worried about how you will fund Christmas, why not take a look at the things you have around your home?
The good news is that you are likely to find a whole host of items that you no longer want or need. Ideal for selling on and making yourself a little bit of extra cash.
During November you may find that plenty of big name retailers start offering sales, promotions and discounts, especially around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You may find it worthwhile to make some of your key purchases during this time. Whilst the deals may seem tempting, you should always make sure that you shop around and see who is offering the best deal.
Remember, if you are buying multiple gifts in a 3 for 2 deal, bunch and buy them together in 3 of the same costs. Otherwise you could find yourself only saving money on a cheap item.
Have a tough 12 months ahead of you? Perhaps you going to have to save for a big holiday or will be changing your job. Make sure you still keep Christmas in mind. One great idea is to designate a particular cupboard in your home as a Christmas cupboard. Throughout the year, if you see a must have bargain then you should make sure that you snap them up.
You can then pop them away in the cupboard, ready to be gifted at the end of the year.
Stick to your list
You should try to avoid Christmas shopping on impulse, instead make yourself write a Christmas shopping list and stick to it!
During the festive season retail stores play a very clever game, dragging you in and making sure that you spend your money. That doesn’t mean that you have to avoid shopping completely. Just make sure that those items on your list are your main focus.
Sounds an obvious tip, but if you think that on average Christmas costs £796 per family, then there is a good reason for making the effort to save up. As soon as January comes around you should look at putting a small amount aside each and every month.
This means that as soon as December comes around, you will have a relatively impressive nest egg available that you can use to buy presents. No stressing, no worrying, just money ready for you to spend.
Be festive, for free
Whilst we all love being in the Christmas spirit, taking your children to see Santa or to winter themed entertainment can be costly. If money is tight, then take advantage of the more local things on offer.
If your children are in school, why not see if there is going to be a Christmas Fayre. These often include a visit from the jolly man himself and will cost next to nothing. Not only will you be saving yourself money, but you will also be doing something to help the school. Which will make you feel better about any money that you are spending.
Give your time
Not only is this a great gift if you are short on money, but giving your time as a gift can be a good idea if you are stuck on what to buy. Do you have a family member or friend that you have been neglecting recently?
If you do then your gift to them could be a voucher to do something together. This could be fishing, a meal out, or perhaps just an afternoon together. Try to aim it as something that they like to do. You could even aim it to be useful for them, such as a week of dog walking or a freshly baked batch of cakes!
For your friends with kids, a babysitting voucher is an ideal gift. Not only is it free for you, but it also means that they can book in some much needed “adult only” time in the New Year. Something that everyone is grateful for!
Make lunch bring and share
Have you had the bright idea of having everyone to yours for Christmas lunch? Sounds amazing, but you soon realise just how much this will end up costing you. Rather than worrying about how you will fund it all, why not ask everyone to bring a particular item for the table.
Make sure that everyone brings something different, from the wine, to the Brussel sprouts and you will soon have a spread fit for a king. It also means that you can splash out a bit on the meat that you will all be eating, as that will be the only thing you have to buy!
Speak to an expert for some advice
If you are worried about your debts, no matter the time of the year. You could benefit from speaking to an expert who can help you take control of your finances. Creditfix have experience in helping a variety of people. Making sure that they know how best to save money, pay off debts and feel a lot less stressed out about the state of their bank account.
*This is a collaborative post
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