Christmas is coming

Traditionally Christmas is a time of sharing, giving and happy holidays spent with family and friends. It is also a time of increased spending and stress. The biggest problem with having a great holiday and Christmas that you didn’t budget for is that after December comes January or “Januworry” as some people like to call it.

This year maximise your December joy and minimize your financial stress and worries by following some of the tips discussed below.

Have a separate budget for December holiday.

If you don’t have one already, set a detailed budget for Christmas spending! Your budget must include all your regular December spending as well as some extra money for unforeseen expenses.

If you are planning to go on holiday include travel, accommodation, meals, excursions, entertainment and any other holiday expenses you know will crop up.

Your budget must also include your spending specific to Christmas if you celebrate Christmas. Have a detailed budget of how much you can spend on presents, decorations and food.

Budget tips for Christmas

You don’t want your Christmas spending to run away with you and cause you financial stress in January so keep the following in mind:

  • Start as early as possible with saving for Christmas expenses.
  • Talk to your family and decide on a new approach to presents that will still bring you joy without breaking the bank. This could be cheaper presents, presents only for your closest family, presents of services like car washes, or help around the house rather than actual gifts, or anything you can make yourself.
  • Decide how much you will spend each day and what you will spend this money on. Draw up a spending calendar that the whole family can see and stick to.
  • Keep a running total of your spending.
  • Use cash! Spending on your credit card will be more difficult to monitor and can get you into trouble.
  • Cash-in on your clubs and loyalty cards. Use as much of this to cover expenses that you would have to pay for otherwise.
  • Consider a lay-by for larger gifts. This will allow you to pay it off over a couple of months.
  • Cut down on Christmas Day food and drink costs.
  • Don’t get swept up in all the marketing hype enticing you to spend more than you can afford.
  • Don’t take out new credit to finance your Christmas spending.

Use your bonus wisely.

If you are lucky enough to receive a December bonus make sure that you use this money wisely and don’t spend all of it on having a good time! This is the money that will help you get through January.

Divide your bonus into two when you receive it. 50% to spend on holiday and Christmas and 50% to pay towards January expenses like school uniforms and schools fees, or rent and utility bills. Put the 50% that is for January aside in a separate account and don’t touch it! You are going to be very happy in January that you did this.

You might want to buy school uniforms in December to avoid the “back to school” rush and have some peace of mind.

How do you plan for holiday spending?

Share with friends