We’re living in economically desperate times. So here are some great financial tips for a more frugal Christmas.
Think About Your Attitude When It Comes to Christmas Spending
You need to seriously consider what is a necessity/need and what is a want. Do you simply go with the crowd and make excessive purchases to keep up with societal expectations? Is your expenditure likely to put you into debt? If it does, are you able to afford the repayments? Is going into debt for a long period worth it for one day?
Note Down Your List of Priorities
Your list should include bills as well as living expenses. Note down the things that you can go without and the ones you cannot.
Be Realistic About What You Are Able to Afford
You might not be able to celebrate to the same extent you previously did when both you and your partner had two incomes coming in. Be realistic about it. Create a budget and don’t deviate from it. Proper budgeting will ensure that you stay organized and keep on track with your expenditure. Taking out a personal loan can take the pressure off at Christmas time.
You might come across friends that encourage you to indulge since it is Christmas and it only comes once every year. However, you should keep in mind that it is not they who will be dealing with your bank account if it ends up red due to your Christmas expenditure.
Decide the amount of money you can afford to spend on each of your children and stick to it. Avoid the temptation of caving in to the latest game or fad that costs more if purchased around Christmas, particularly if you cannot afford it.
If you wait to make purchases, you can get the things you originally wanted for Christmas at a much lower price later on, for your birthday, for example. It is also an excellent way to teach your children about delayed gratification.
Be Aware of Customer Advertising
Advertisements will only encourage you to spend more and more. If one of those commercials come on the TV, change channels. Walk by the promotional offers in the supermarkets since their sole aim is selling you things that you don’t necessarily need.
Advertisers particularly love targeting children. Teach them in advance that the sole purpose of advertisements is to make the viewer believe that he/she wants that item, needs that item, and he/she should buy it.
Remember That Children Learn by Example
Children watch our every move and actually learn from it; they are comparable to sponges. If you would like your children to be more responsible with money when they are older, you need to be responsible now since you are their example.
Avoid Comparing Yourself to Others
You can only do what you are able to do. The most critical part of the holidays is sharing them with family and friends and this does not cost anything. Avoid comparing yourself to other people that are able to get more for their children.
Do your best and try making at special as possible for your children. In the coming years, they might not remember that expensive gift that was bought for them, but will definitely remember the quality time they spent with you singing carols, baking cookies, or watching Christmas movies.
Write a Present List and Amount You Wish to Spend on Every Person
Focus on an individual at a time and shop with the blinkers on. Don’t forget not to go beyond the budget set for each person.
Look for Discounts
Platforms such as Groupon are excellent ways to purchase items at discounted prices. Look out for the sales. If you are able to find what you are looking for on sale or at a discount, you will have a little more extra money to buy something else.
Online shopping ensures that you won’t be tempted to go around the shops adding items to your trolley simply because it is Christmas. Still, you need to keep an eye on delivery fees when shopping online. Try ordering multiple items together from one store to shape on postage and shipping costs.
Recycle Gift Bags and Bows
Keep gift bows and bags once you take them off wrapping paper and use them year after year. It might not seem like much, but if you add up the amount that you spend on bags and bows over the years, you might be in for a surprise. It all does add up.
Try a ‘Secret Santa’ Game Rather Than Buying Gifts for Everybody in Your Extended Family
Buying gifts for individual family members can be expensive thus putting more pressure on you. Talk to your family about randomly selecting a name out of a hat for a secret Santa gift and then choose an amount to spend on each of the gifts.
Speak to Your Ex and Go Halves When It Comes to Expensive Gifts
Don’t forget to communicate with your ex about the gifts you each plan to buy for the children. That way, you can avoid buying the same thing. If there’s a gift the children really want and it is very expensive, consider talking to your ex about going halves.
Many supermarkets offer value for money and may reduce your food bill considerably. You need to ask yourself whether you actually need the branded product or you can save on own-brand replacements.
Stop Sending Out Paper Christmas Cards
Instead, you can wish your family and friends a Merry Christmas either via SMS, email, or social media.