There’s nothing quite like a good dose of debt to raise stress levels and diminish joy. And since this is the time of year that consumers are out there buying, it might be the perfect time to look at how much you are spending, as well as ways to keep the cost of Christmas down. You’ll be doing yourself a great favour by being on top of it all.
It’s always wise to set a budget during the holidays. Factor in as many variables as possible such as how much you plan to spend on each person on your list. Include entertaining expenses, groceries, beverages and the cost of a new outfit, if needed. The key is to pay off your Christmas bills before Spring has sprung!
Remember that the holidays should be about spending time with loved ones and creating memories to last a lifetime. Societal expectations for bigger and better gifts have most of us shaking our heads at how ‘out of hand’ Christmas has become. Maybe it’s time to rethink gift giving.
Instead of buying a gift for each member of the family, suggest picking a name out of a hat, and buying only for that person. Or maybe suggesting each person bring a gift, then play any one of the gift giving games that usually end up in lots of laughs. (for gift giving game ideas go to www.funattic.com) Repurposing or Re-Gifting themes can also be a lot of fun and cost very little.
Making gifts is another good way to keep costs down and yet still give meaningful presents. One of my favourite Christmas gifts ever, is a wooden reindeer my son carved for me. Homemade gifts can be truly special.
Hopefully this season will find you with a plan and a budget, both of which you stick to!