There’s no denying that the holidays aren’t one of the most expensive times of year for families. From buying Christmas presents to increased socializing and entertainment costs, there’s a lot that can start to drain your bank balance. While yes, it is the season for fun and good will, there’s no reason to go overboard with your spending.
Want to avoid unnecessary costs during the festive period? Here’s how you can look forward to a healthier bank account by the time January comes around.
Don’t Go Over Your Gift-Buying Budget
It’s easy to overspend at Christmas, especially when you want to get the best gifts possible for your loved ones. One of the best things you can do is set yourself a Christmas budget and stick to it. That way, you’ll find it difficult to justify spending any more than you should. It can be a total budget or a budget for each person on your gift list, but having a figure in mind will make you less likely to look at gifts that are out of your price range.
Don’t Use Credit To Supplement Your Spending
It’s worrying news that as late as now, people are still paying off last year’s Christmas debt. Many people get into debt over the Christmas period as they look to ensure the perfect Christmas, but it really isn’t worth it in the long run. Taking out credit cards, loans or store cards to pay for Christmas could mean that you pay way over the odds in interest charges, while also making it difficult to reign in your spending. Instead of turning to credit, find ways of cutting costs to free up extra money instead.
You might want to try selling off some unwanted gifts or household goods and clothes that could help you generate some extra temporary income to help you avoid debt, while also clearing out some of the clutter from your home.
Find Ways To Cut Costs On Your Shopping
Speaking of cutting costs, there are so many great ways that you can make savings on your shopping that won’t have to change what or how much you buy. The internet is one of the easiest ways to find bargains and discounts, and even though Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over – stores will keep offering incentives for you to shop with them from now until Christmas.
Make a list of all the things you need to buy and when a good money-saving opportunity comes along, grab it. You could save 10-20% on most things on your list, and taking advantage of ad-hoc sales could help you save up to 50%. Give yourself a cut-off date for the latest you’re willing to wait for these items to come down in price.
Cut Your Energy Bills
Your energy bills can skyrocket during the festive period, especially as you’re more likely to spend time at home during this time. Cold, dark winter nights leave you reaching for the heating – but is are there other solutions you could try instead? Lighting candles, using hot water bottles and putting on a sweater are all ways of keeping warmer at home that won’t cause your energy bills to drastically increase. You can reduce your energy costs almost completely by taking your energy supply off-grid, so it’s worth investigating ways you can transform your home to help it be more self-sufficient.
Be Careful On The Roads
The last thing you’ll want to deal with during the festive season is a car accident. A car accident can lead to expensive repair bills or medical costs that won’t be a welcome addition to your household at this time of year. Drive carefully and carry out some safety checks to make sure your car is winter ready. If you are unlucky and suffer an accident because of someone else’s fault, you could claim with an experienced claims expert like Stephen Babcock, personal injury attorney, who may be able to help you make a claim for compensation. Be vigilant on the roads and don’t put yourself and other drivers at risk.
Going Out Too Much
Spending money on socializing can soon escalate. Work festive drinks, holiday catch-ups with friends and meals out can soon start to add up, and while you might have had fun – the effect it can have on your bank balance won’t be. Instead of going out every time, invite people over instead. Pick one night to have an ‘open house’ situation where you invite all of your friends and family over – allowing you to see as many of them as possible without having to accept every invitation. It’ll be a much more enjoyable way to celebrate the festive season with the ones you love.
Being sick during the holidays isn’t something that anyone can choose, nor can it be helped for the most part. With many employers not paying for sick days, being off work means that you could lose money – something that’s disastrous during the holidays. Do what you can to avoid being sick and boost your immunity with a good diet. If you do get sick, try to practice self-care or head to the local pharmacy for advice about everyday illnesses. A trip to the ER should only be saved for actual emergencies, so make sure you only go when it’s needed to avoid paying what could be unnecessary.
The holidays are one of the most enjoyable times of the year – a chance to catch up with family and friends, have a break and enjoy the festive atmosphere. If your finances are causing you to be concerned, try finding ways of cutting back to help you accommodate any extra costs. Once this year’s over, give some thought to budgeting for next Christmas. If you want to spend less at Christmas, then pre-planning is a must.
You’ll find some great hints and ideas online about how you can enjoy a wonderful Christmas, except with a little more change in your pockets.