At Christmas time it can be very easy to end up spending more money than you intended to as many gifts appeal to you and various events crop up which you feel you cannot say no to. It may result in you having a struggle for the next few months to try to claw back your finances. It is possible, however, with a bit of organising that you can stick to your budget.
1. Be realistic.
When you think about your budget you need to be realistic with it, how much can you afford to spend? Once you have worked out how far you can stretch yourself you need to assess, in advance, whether it is possible to actually stick to it. If it looks as though it is not going to be possible to stick to your budget then you need to find ways in which you can cut back- perhaps you could not buy for every one that you normally would, perhaps you could turn down some invitations to events.
2. Start early.
If you begin your planning early then you will find that you can stick within your budget easier than if you do it all last minute. If you begin buying items in advance then you won’t be stuck with the shops putting their prices up at the last minute or falling into sensationalised Christmas marketing that can make you purchase items you wouldn’t normally buy. It also means that you can spread your costs over a number of months which can help take the pressure off during Decemeber.
3. Make your own.
Homemade presents can often be much cheaper than buying gifts from stores. There are various items you could make which don’t cost a lot such as shortbreads, scrap books, fudge, jam and other items. Handmade items are also extremely thoughtful so your loved ones will appreciate them and the thought behind them.
4. Say no.
Do not feel under pressure to have to visit every family member or go to every party that you are invited to. Remember that visiting and parties cost money- petrol, outfits, gifts all add up and so do not take on too much. Try getting everyone together at one or two gatherings so that it cuts down on the number of visits and parties you are attending.
5. Do not be taken in.
Many shops put their prices up in November and December and then have a ‘sale’. They may offer 20% off or have Buy one Get One Free but actually the prices end up being the same price as they would have been a few month’s previously. Always remember that a bargain is only a bargain if you were intending on buying the item in the first place. Do not be taken in by promotions or overly packaged items that make them look far more appealing.
6. Stick to your list.
Create a list of gifts that you intend to buy and then stick to them. Again, don’t be taken in by other items which look all nicely packaged up and actually cost more than you were going to spend. If you have a list then it can help you to stay focussed and be less likely to spend money on products that you would not previously have considered.
It is possible to stick to your budget at Christmas time, it may be difficult but if you remain confident and strong willed then you will be successful with this task.