Christmas time is the best time of the whole year and it is very important as well to celebrate the festival. But do we need to put ourselves under so much stress and pressure to overspend?
You don’t have to compromise your fun and joy; you can have a great Christmas and can still end up saving some money in your bank account.
Christmas Day is less than four months away and is set to be a different kind of festive season this year for millions of families as they try to enjoy the holiday celebrations with their friends and family without going over their budget.
While nobody can put a price on spending quality time with family and friends, we have put together some top tips on how to start budgeting for Christmas now and ways to avoid your overspending.
1. Prepare a Budget for the Christmas Season
Before you start any Christmas shopping, prepare a budget for the Christmas Season.
How much are you keen and able to spend this year on Christmas and all its trappings; gifts, decorations, extra food and drink, clothes, entertainment, phone calls, charitable donations, and travel?
Compare that total with what you have open to spending. If it is more than you can afford then just look for areas to cut.
It is a great idea to plan a budget but it is more vital to stick to it.
The key to adhering to a budget is bearing in mind the total amount you have given to each class and do not allow yourself to go over that amount.
2. Maintain a Checklist and Cross Check it with others twice
Make a list of friends, relatives, and family for whom you wish to buy gifts, and fix an amount for each person.
Remember those who have been extremely helpful through the year and include a few extra gifts for random guests.
Sometimes you receive a gift from someone not on your list and feel obliged to return it with a gift. You will have to plunge some people from your list; don’t worry; they are also likely dropping you!
3. Start your Christmas shopping with a List
Make a shopping list for your Christmas shopping and do your shopping accordingly to the list.
Do not add unnecessary items to your list and add those items only that you think are necessary for your Christmas celebration.
Make an affordable shopping list that won’t affect your budget too much.
Your list of Christmas gifts should be according to the taste and preferences of your friends, family, and relatives as they are the receiver of the gifts.
Do your shopping for gifts according to your shopping list. In that way, it won’t affect your pocket too much and you can shop within your target budget for your friends, family, and relatives.
4. Don’t borrow money from bank or others for your Christmas celebrations
How much can you afford to spend your money without going into deficit?
It is usually better to pay with cash to buy toys and other gifts, rather than to borrow as the interest cost will only make everything much more expensive particularly if you use your credit card.
Many families will still be bearing their Christmas excess well into 2017 at a time when school fees are due. Don’t let that debtor be you.
5. Buy your food ingredients in a bulk and share
Food is a major and significant Christmas expense. In the run up to Christmas, we manage to buy far too much food, and so much of it will end up in the dustbin, destroyed and wasted.
Plan your Christmas food needs now and make a proper list of all the ingredients and food items that you will need.
Consider buying in bulk some food items that can also be shared with friends, family, relatives, and total strangers who will otherwise face a plunging Christmas.
You can also share the cost of a cow, a turkey, a sack of rice, and other Christmas staples with your friends, family, and relatives.
6. Split the cost between you and your extended family
If you are also hoping the extended family over this Christmas, which could be more than a few, divide the cost so that one person buys and prepares the starters, one does the main feast, and another person the desserts.
The joint step will save you money and you can even enjoy a perfect happy family bonding time.
7. Start saving for the Christmas celebrations ahead of time
If you can and are able, put aside a certain sum of money each week between now and Christmas, so you make up for spending money.
Do you spend thousands of dollars each month eating out or buying takeaway lunch meals and dinner?
Why not save this by taking a sealed lunch to work every day between now and Christmas? It all adds up.
Start saving a small sum of money each month from January and your next Christmas will be effortless.
8. Make early travel plans for Christmas
It may be too late to reserve discount fares now but don’t get seen out next time. Advance bookings are usually cheaper than immediate bookings.
So make your travel plans early and book your tickets ahead of time and also pre-book the hotel or resort on the location where you are going to stay with your family or friends.
In that way, you can get a good deal and discount on your bookings of tickets and resorts or hotels.
9. Push your Children to use their creative skills for the Christmas celebration
Motivate your children to show handmade gifts to loved ones who will cherish them.
Usually, personalized gifts, handmade gifts, or those of great sentimental value, such as framed photos, painted portraits from school art class nicely framed, recordings of a grandchild's songs, a piece of poetry or poem, some specially baked cakes, and bakes, or a specially grown potted plant.
This does not cost you a fortune and will be much admired by your family and friends.
This is also a very good way of teaching kids useful lessons that it is not all about money; thoughtfulness is far more significant.
10. Donate things that are no longer needed and used
Explore all those gifts you never used and clothes that are in perfect condition but that you do not wear anymore. Plan to give and donate things away to an orphanage or old age home.
You will be amazed by how many people will be so happy with items that you no longer have any use for.
How can you avoid your overspending at Christmas
- Make a note of the costs of the gifts you would like to buy now - This will help you to budget for them and compare them to costs the week running up to Black Friday to see if you can get a deal.
- Book your train or flight tickets as far in advance as you can - This usually gives you the lowest prices and best deals.
- Pay with a credit card if you purchase anything over $100 - This will give you section 75 protection, meaning if the vendor goes bust or something goes wrong with the item, your credit card company is jointly liable for sorting out the issue.
- Secret Santa for the family and friends - Talk to your family and friends about exchanging things and buy one large gift for a member of your family to save on buying for everyone.
- Dodge store cards or buy now, pay later deals - Avoid signing up for pricey store credit if you know you won’t be able to pay the credit back quickly, otherwise, your items may cost you a lot more than they are worth.
- Use 0% interest rate credit cards - If you have to borrow, check your eligibility for a 0% interest rate credit card and get one with a long interest-free term to give you time to pay the money back without bearing any interest.
- Always Google things before buying - Whether you are shopping online on the internet or on the high street, it is always worth Googling the article to see if you can buy it more reasonably elsewhere, and remember to review the delivery fees if you are shopping online.
- Custom gifts are affordable and the best - Customized gifts are easily available on the internet and they are affordable too. You can get gifts for everyone. You just have to type custom gifts for her (for example) and you can see a large variety of gifts for girls. All you have to do is explore the internet.
It is vital to remember that even though the recession may have impacted your family finances badly, there are so many people far worse off than you.
Giving doesn't always have to be about money and finances. You can give a gift of your time, talent, or expertise.
Involve your kids in the festivities; this will guide them through powerful lessons that can have a positive and favorable impact on the well-being of others.
Don't forget the reason for the Christmas season. With all the vibe of festivity around, it is so easy to forget the essence of Christmas.For custom gifts for your friends, relatives, and family you must explore Google for best deals. For getting easy deals on custom gifts you can go and check the website Kindayoung.