In just two months, the nation will be buzzing with Christmas carols, the streets will be dripping in tinsel, and the stores will be jostling with last-minute shoppers. With parties, gifts, and holidays to pay for, can you get through our biggest national holiday and still be in the green? You’re going to need a Christmas budget.
Start with a Christmas budget
The first thing to do to preserve your finances is to create a Christmas budget. Don’t delay: if you don’t have one, write one now! This budget is going to be your guide between now and Boxing Day.
Realism is critical here. Carefully consider what you can afford to spend. Take your income, remove all your necessary expenses, and have a good think about which discretionary expenses you’re willing to part with for the next two months.
Allocate your budget
Travel, food, decorations, cards, and of course presents all need to fit into your budget. Allocate some of your budget in each direction and work hard to keep each category within its allocation. As an incentive, if you save money on an area, you can pass the savings on to another category… or just give yourself a special treat!
Make the most of your budget
Is the value of Christmas measured by how much you spend on it? There are loads of blogs and websites sharing literally hundreds of ideas to create inexpensive and meaningful Christmas experiences. There is no reason you should miss out, whatever your budget is.
Stick to your budget
No matter how tempting or appealing that big-brand giant stuffed teddy bear looks, its glamour will fade in January when your savings account is thin and your credit card debt is high. Never let Christmas Day make you overlook the year ahead.
When planning Christmas with children, don’t underestimate the value of the Gift of Thriftiness. Your example of spending and attitude in giving is far more important than a lusted-for toy.
Have a wonderful Christmas!
Ultimately, Christmas is what you make of it. So enjoy it! And if you or a friend are struggling financially and not sure how to handle the upcoming season, contact us to see how we can help.