Last Updated on 20th November 2023
Christmas is a wonderful time of year. But it can also be expensive, especially if you’re not keeping a close eye on your finances. Allow yourself to go over budget, and you might end up enjoying the period slightly less – since you’ll be worrying about how you’re going to recover when January rolls around.
The best way to avoid these worries is to have a plan and stick to it. Let’s take a look at how we might approach this.
If you want to limit your spending, then you’ll want to ensure that you spend conscientiously rather than impulsively. That means drawing up a budget, and dividing it up according to your various spending priorities. Decorations, gifts, travel, socialising – if you don’t set up spending firewalls between these areas, then you might find that your budget for one starts to eat into your budget for everything else.
If you want to be very precise, then you might even create a spreadsheet to monitor your spending. For most people, a few ballpark figures on pen and paper can get the job done nicely.
Getting the most from your Christmas shopping means taking advantage of the various sales, discounts and voucher schemes that are on offer during November and December. When it comes to food, it’s easy to be drawn in by fancy packaging and luxury names – but in many cases, the own-brand goods are indistinguishable from the expensive ones.
It might be that you have spending obligations at this time of year that have nothing to do with Christmas. If your car insurance is due for renewal, for example, then looking into getting a multi-car insurance quote might be helpful.
At this time of year, you might have dozens of invitations, work events, parties and social gatherings competing for your attention – and for your money. If you’re going out several weekends in a row, then you might quickly end up spending hundreds of pounds.
Here’s where prioritising can be helpful. Decide which events you really want to attend, and then either avoid the rest of them or restrict yourself to a brief appearance.
Cut down on gifts
You don’t have to spend big on gifts to make an impression. A secret Santa scheme at work might help you and your colleagues limit your spending and ensure that everyone gets one quality gift rather than dozens of inferior ones.
You might also elect to make some gifts by hand. If you have a creative streak, this can even be fun. It’ll give you a chance to make your gifts personal and memorable and save you money in the process.