For many people Christmas is a time that goes hand in hand with a huge amount of stress. Financial stress is top of the list for a lot of us.
‘Tis the season to be… stressed about your finances. Christmas, in many ways, has become a time that is synonymous with all things commercial. Huge amounts of money are spent on gifts, food, events and social occasions with family and friends.
The spirit of Christmas is about relationships and spending time with the most important people in our lives but quite often that is not the case. For many people Christmas is a time that goes hand in hand with a huge amount of stress. Financial stress is top of the list for a lot of us.
How many of us have vowed to “make next year different” when it comes to Christmas spending? How many of us truly want to waste less and enjoy more of the important things like quality time with family?
And yet another Christmas rolls in and we find ourselves slipping back into old habits. We default to a place where we feel that we must repeat (and increase) last year’s festivities. The result is usually over-spending, over-analyzing and drowning in a sea of stress and anxiety.
This could be the year that changes everything. Here are 10 easy ways to reign in the spending this Christmas.
- Suggest a Kris Kindle or Secret Santa this year between friends and family. It makes a lot more sense to buy one decent present. Less shopping, less presents to carry, and less money spent all round.
- If you are hosting dinner do not be afraid to ask your guests to bring something. You could ask one guest to look after desserts while another can bring along the nibbles for that evening. People are more than happy to help and formalizing it in this way will prevent people from arriving with huge volumes of things you do not need.
- Before you buy Christmas clothes for you and the kids, go through all wardrobes and make use of the “good” clothes that have never left the hanger.
- In November buy a couple of Christmas treats each week rather than doing a big “Christmas Shop”. It will make it a lot more manageable and will allow you to monitor what you do and do not have rather than a last-minute panic shop which leads to overspending.
- When people ask you what the kids would like for Christmas don’t be afraid to answer. People want to get things that will be well-received and it might just prevent you from overspending for the kids yourself.
- In the same way, ask family and friends what they or their children would like. It is a lot more cost-effective to pick up one item that you know a person will like as opposed to a variety of things on a whim.
- Remember that advertising and marketing is aggressive at this time of year. If you suddenly feel an urge to paint your house, buy a new cooker or pick up some fancy festive ornaments, simply take a breath and give it a little more thought before you make a decision.
- Take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, particularly if you have your eye on something specific. You could save a considerable amount on your spending this Christmas.
- Remember the word “no”. Rather than agreeing to attend every single meal, lunch, brunch or get-together pick and choose the ones that are really important to you. We can’t do it all.
- Use December as a time to clear out the freezer. Let it inspire your family meals and snacks in the weeks leading up to Christmas and you’ll save a few pennies on the food shopping during those weeks.