As Christmas edges ever closer, we’re all starting to consider its financial impact. The commercialization of Christmas means that it’s now more expensive than ever before, and it can be difficult for some families to cope with this. If you’re worried about how much Christmas will cost you this year then budgeting and planning carefully are essential. Here’s how you can budget to make sure your money stretches.
End of November
Between now and the end of November, you must plan meticulously. This involves assessing your entire financial situation, factoring in all of your incomings and outgoings between now and the big day. Remember that the times you get paid may also vary over the Christmas period, with some people being paid earlier or later than normal. If you think this may affect you, speak to your workplace so you can be certain and won’t get any nasty surprises.
Once you’ve worked out your incomings and outgoings, you’ll then know how much expendable income you have to spend throughout the festive period.
Start of December
As we get into December, you’ll have to start considering how to spend your budget. You’ll have to divide your Christmas budget between:
It may be that you have leftover cards or decorations and you may be able to save some money by reusing these. However, you’ll still need fresh food and presents for your family and loved ones.
Make a list of all the food you’ll need and everyone you need to buy a present for. This way you’ll be able to calculate whether your budget will stretch. In doing this, set yourself a strict budget for everyone’s gifts and be sure to not exceed it. If, when you’ve calculated all this, your budget won’t stretch then you may have to consider alternative financing sources to get you through to the big day, such as a guarantor loan.
If you don’t want to take out a loan, you could always scale back Christmas, opting for handmade gifts rather than bought ones. This is a personal choice.
In the Weeks Before the Big Day
By sorting out your finances early on and setting yourself strict limits, all you’ll have left to do in the final few weeks is buy, buy, buy. Just be sure to stick to your list and stick to the strict limits that you’ve imposed upon yourself. This way, you’ll stay well within your budget and have a happy Christmas the whole family can enjoy.