Christmas is one of the best times of the year, if not the best time of year. But for some people and families, it adds a huge amount of financial pressure that is extremely hard to navigate through.
There is a fine line between having fun, giving gifts and going on days out without leaving yourself vulnerable to financial pressure in the new year.
Many people get paid prior to Christmas and if they are paid monthly it could mean 5/6 weeks before they get paid again.
While many budget for January, it is easy to lose the run of yourself when the festive season is in full flight and you and your family are enjoying it.
Making the most of what you have is vital to making the most of Christmas without falling into financial trouble.
Here are some tips on making the most out of what you've got:
Value family above all else.
One thing to remember when you are under financial pressure at Christmas is the value of family. We often concentrate on what we can’t give our children (in terms of objects) but what we forget is that having a family is what matters most.
Children love nothing more than spending time with their parents and guardians during the festive season. Playing games, watching movies together and going for winter walks can mean a lot more to your child than a bagful of toys.
Of course, kids love gifts and Christmas, but the season is more about family and enjoying each other instead of the exchange of presents.
Enjoy the moments.
Instead of assuming you can’t afford to do anything, look at free events in your area to decide if they are a good option for your family. Bring your own drinks and lunches (if you can) and sit outside to eat and drink.
Doing so will reduce the expenses and you’ll be able to enjoy the day out without spending a lot of money. It can be so hard to not feel guilty when you are under financial strain but remember there are so many things to be grateful for during Christmas.
The best moments of Christmas are memories made in the simplest way and usually, kids remember those free experiences over the number of gifts they received in the future.
Visit family and friends to make the most of Christmas and be creative in ensuring the spirit of Christmas is alive in your home, though you may not have the money to do and have everything you want.
Be sensible financially.
Try not to spend money to please your family if it means you will be struggling financially. You can do things without putting yourself under that strain and be clear about what you can do before you get into the Christmas period.
Stop the guilt, stop looking at others and comparing yourself to them. Social media can make Christmas hard when some people share what’s under the Christmas tree and everything they are doing.
They mean no harm, but sometimes social media is not the place to be when you are struggling, and some people avoid social media over the festive period to simply take a break from it.
Do yourself a favour and don’t berate yourself and stay positive as hopefully, things will get better for you and your family but for now, enjoy what you have and look forward to 2020.