Starting the new year with Christmas debt is not something most of us look forward to. But unfortunately, it’s often the reality. To really enjoy the gift-giving season, without feeling guilt-ridden because of overspending, try setting up a Christmas budget that outlines how much you have to spend and who you’re going to spend it on, and then shop without going over budget. Here are some tips for budgeting for Christmas spending.
1. Set a number
A trend that has proven popular with many families in recent years is the “four gift rule”. Parents pledge to buy their children just four gifts: something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. Not only does the four gift rule help save on the cost of gift-giving at Christmas, it teaches children a valuable lesson too: that they can’t have everything they want.
2. Limit gift-giving
Buying multiple gifts for family and non-family members can chew up your budget in no time. Especially if you have a large family. Instead of trying to buy a gift for every family member, do a Secret Santa where you each family member buys one gift for someone else. Also try setting spending limits so everyone spends the same amount on gifts and no one is left feeling uncomfortable about how much they have to spend.
3. Make something
Choose to give a homemade gift this year, or give up your time to help someone in need. Just Google “Homemade gifts” and you’ll be flooded with inspiration and ideas! Whether you bake something, or make something, do something for someone, or donate something on their behalf, homemade gifts are often the most cherished gifts of all.
4. Choose sustainable
Be frugal in your gift wrapping and try to repurpose items you would ordinarily just bin. Brown paper wrapping, cardboard boxes, ribbons and twine, tissue paper, fabric wrap, even second hand tea towels or scarves from the Op Shop make excellent sustainable gift wrap.
5. Give essentials
We all have that one person on our Christmas list who is simply impossible to buy for! Or it may be that you just don’t know them well enough to get them something they really want. In these instances, buying a gift that is an essential item is a good idea. Something useful, practical, even convenient. A time-saver device. Or a space-saver item. Whatever it is, it doesn’t have to just be socks!
A most wonderful time of year
While the festive season is a highly anticipated time of year, it can also be one of the most stressful times for families. The added pressure of buying gifts, entertaining and spending more than you have, can overload an already stretched budget.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Sticking to your Christmas budget and finding effective work-arounds that help you avoid overspending, are key to staying out of debt.
Sticking to a budget is also vital when it comes to managing your mortgage repayments. If you’d like financial advice about your own financial situation, get in touch with a Mortgage Express branded financial adviser today.