So, this year Christmas day is on the 25th December, it always has been and always will be. So it has not snuck up on you and it certainly is not an emergency.
Let me start by saying Christmas is not about presents and the biggest gift you could ever give anyone is time. So, if you are in debt and Christmas does not fit in your budget right now then please remember you are doing your best right now and you will realise in a year or two that this sacrifice was well worth it.
If you have already started saving amazing, these are some tips to help you with added extras. If you haven’t these tips are going to help you get started and hopefully stop you from putting this Christmas on a credit card.
Start with a plan
- Who are you buying for?
If you are getting intense about paying off debt maybe it is time to reduce either how much you spend on each person or the amount of people you buy for. Some suggestions would be a secret Santa for the adults of the family or only buying for the children.
- Will you be hosting Christmas lunch?
If so how much extra will you need for grocery shopping that week? A great tip is to ask others to bring a dish along with them, this not only saves you money but also time so win, win.
- Do you have festive traditions?
The pantomime? Visiting Santa? Hot chocolates while Christmas shopping? Again, if you are trying to pay down debt I would suggest cutting some of this for now. But for those that do be honest how much do they cost as they will need to be budgeted for.
Setting a Budget
Above you have worked out honestly how much this year is going to cost. We have 2 or 3 paydays left to try and save/make this. Let’s say you worked out that your plan shows a cost of £600, you have 2 paydays left so that would be £300 per payday. Is there room in your monthly budget for this? If not, what is available?
Example – £100 a month is available = £200 leaving £400 remaining to find
Create yourself a Christmas envelope, this maybe a physical envelope if you use cash or you make have a bank account you are going to use for this fund. This will mean when you start to purchase items you are less likely to over spend.
Making a little extra in time for Christmas
- Overtime/Side job – a few extra hours here or there would go a long way.
- Sell – the baby toys that are no longer played with, the dress you say you will wear and never do or the exercise bike collecting dust in the garage. They could all add a little to your fund
- Points – We have our Tesco points all year and this could go towards presents or festive activities. There are many stores with points schemes that if you stopped using the points now and saved them till December they may help.
- Surveys – You may not have the time for extra shifts but what about a few surveys. There are quite a few online survey sites and the odd £5 or £10 could soon add up.
Just remember Christmas does not have to be big. Can you honestly say the first thing you remember about your childhood Christmases is the size? No, it is the magical feeling of that time of year and that can be created on any budget no matter how small.
What is your favourite part of Christmas?