How To Budget Over Christmas
Christmas can often be a difficult time – while you want to celebrate and enjoy yourself the temptation is to overspend while doing so. However, there are ways to budget over the festive season and still have a great time and in this article we’re going to look at a few ways you can do this.
Make a checklist
Part of the problem with Christmas is that people buy things that they do not necessarily need and inevitably there will be some snacks, drinks and items that will end up in the back of a cupboard. A list helps to stop impulse “just in case” purchases that you don’t need (while this may sound obvious it is easy to forget in the Christmas rush).
It also helps to be clear what presents you are getting – in some cases it may be worth talking with friends and family on certain limits (for example doing a Secret Santa with friends rather than for everyone and setting a strict limit for how much to spend.)
Have a clearout
One aspect you may not have considered is clearing items out – do you have old clothes, DVDs etc? You could sell these and generate a little extra cash that way.
Avoid brand loyalty
Sometimes people can get overly attached to brands – however there are plenty of supermarket equivalents and lower budget equivalents that do just as well as branded goods (and in some taste tests they actually do better!)
Be careful with gift cards
Gift cards can be a great alternative to presents, giving someone the chance to spend on what they want. However, be wary because businesses can go into administration and this may mean cards or vouchers won’t be taken. Another issue to consider is when cards expire and people losing them.
Use charity shops
This ties in with brand snobbery – charity shops can have great items that you may not necessarily thought of. While items like artwork and books can be expensive in stores the equivalent can often be found at a cheaper price in a charity shop (with the added bonus of helping charities as well).
Paying with credit card
Paying with credit card is strongly advised if buying gifts for over £100 as if a company goes bust you can cancel the purchase. It is also possible to get cashback on purchases with some cards (remember to shop around to get the best possible deal).
Save money going out
People often go out around Christmas and New Year – look out for vouchers, special deals and so forth to help prevent spending too much when you are out and about.
Talk to us
With the right planning it is possible to enjoy your Christmas without spending too much. If you are concerned about this or want to know more about your finances contact Larcomes Financial Services and we will be happy to discuss this with you in more detail.