Christmas is an expensive time of year, but that doesn’t mean you have to go into debt to be able to afford the holiday season. Christmas can easily get out of hand, but isn’t it the season about spending time with your loved ones instead of spending thousands.
Here are some great tips on how you can stay out of debt over Christmas.
Stick to Your List
One way to easily overspend over Christmas is to buy on impulse and have no clear indication of what you are getting. You should make a list of possible gift ideas, you just need a few ideas for those that you are buying for. If you see one of the gifts for a good price then you should get it. The list is like your budget and you need to stick with it.
It might be too late to start shopping early this year, but these tips will help you every year. You can start hunting for the gifts on your list early and if you find a good deal, you can buy it and cross it off your list. Starting early to look for gifts means you can take your time and hunt for the best price.
Wait for It
Even though it is a good idea to start shopping early, it might be wise to wait it out as well. Retailers are highly competitive and just because something is on sale now, it doesn’t mean it won’t be cheaper just before Christmas. Some of the best deals might be weeks before Christmas or just days before. However, waiting can lead to panic buys, so the best thing to do is to watch online sites and websites and see when those big-ticket items you want go on sale.
Instead of buying lots of things without much thought, you should buy less and also buy more meaningful gifts. There is the 4-gift rule that works for kids but can also work for adults. That is, you should get:
- An item they want
- An item they need
- An item to read
- A wearable item
Something to read is usually inexpensive and something they need can be as well like you may always need hair ties, for instance, and something to wear can even be something you make yourself.
Wait…There are more ways to save over Christmas…
Do you have a hobby like knitting or sewing? Can you bake? If you are crafty you could make a gift for your family and friends like make a scarf or create a baked goods hamper.
Making a gift yourself is more meaningful and thoughtful. If you do make your gifts try and stick to one thing so you can buy your supplies in bulk and save money.
Put Money Away
Starting next year, you should put a little money away each week or month. There is the 52-week challenge for instance that starts around New Year’s Day. This challenge is where you put R10 away the first week, R20 the second week, R30 the third week and so on. However, you have to be disciplined for the challenge.
If you not able to do this, then you can just start putting a portion of your paycheck away each month and watch it grow so you are ready for Christmas.
Use Your Credit Card Rewards
Reward credit cards can be very useful if you know how to manage them. You can use your credit card that accumulates rewards like points to pay for everything and just transfer the money from your check account to settle the amount. You can use these points to buy gifts at selected stores.
Create Your Budget
Budgets are not fun, but they are needed as they make you more money conscious, especially around Christmas. You need to figure out how much you want to spend on each person and how much the main gift should be. This can help you to not overspend, because you have a clear guide of what you will spend.
If you have a large family, it can be expensive to buy a gift for every single person. You should then suggest that you give less. You could set a limit on the amount to spend and just get one gift for the whole family with that amount or per couple, for instance. Otherwise, you can suggest a smaller amount per person and everyone has to buy within that limit.
Christmas can be pricey but you don’t have to go into debt for it. Look at how you can save money, spend less and plan for next year so that you know you will be able to get through the holiday season with your financials intact.