“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”. Christmas, Hanukkah, Thanksgiving… twinkling lights, time with family and friends, parties, decorations, presents….it’s a happy and exciting time of year. However, it can also be the most expensive time of the year. Most families are on a budget particularly in the current financial climate and it’s all too easy to be carried away with buying presents, new outfits, and Christmas drinks. Then, just when you think it’s all over, along come the New Year celebrations, with more parties, drinks and outfits to buy. Don’t let yourself get into debt that will hang over you until next Christmas. Here are some useful tips that will help you survive the financial pressure of the festive season:
Have you heard of “re-gifting”? More and more people are passing on unwanted presents. Perhaps you have received a perfectly lovely gift, but you really have no use for it or it really is not for you. Why not re-wrap it and give it as a present to someone who will appreciate it? Just ensure that you don’t give it to anyone who is likely to know the original gifter!
Look out for bargains and special offers during the year and hide them away until the festive season.
Keep an eye on the many discount voucher websites that are available. There are some great bargains to be had on just about everything you can think of.
Join a Christmas club. These are basically savings schemes that you pay into over the year and then exchange what you have saved for vouchers that can be used in many of the well-known stores or online.
Celebrations at Work
There is often a lot of pressure to be seen at the work party celebrations. So consider starting up a savings club where people can contribute each month, perhaps on pay day. That way, when the holiday season arrives, everything is paid for.
Don’t feel pressurized into going along to every work event.
Plan ahead and buy your festive outfits during the year when the sales are on
See what your girlfriends (or boyfriends) have got in their wardrobe. Borrowing an outfit will save the cost of buying new
See what the thrift shops have to offer. You can pick up some great “pre-loved” bargains, including designer gear
Use your outfit more than once! If you are going to different parties with a different circle of friends, then no-one will know that you are not wearing a brand new dress.
If you are hosting the Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner, why not share the load and ask everyone to bring a contribution to the meal.
If you have a large freezer, spread the cost of buying the food over a few months and store until the big day.
Be realistic about the amount of food that you will need to provide. Remember that everyone will probably be munching on nibbles and chocolates and probably wont be able to eat a massive meal.
With a little bit of planning, you can have a great festive season and still stay in the black.