Articles Item ID: #4160
Don’t Let Christmas Ruin Your Finances
Tweet Christmas time can be a very costly time for everyone. This year with the credit downturn or “Credit Crunch” everything seems a bit more difficult than usual. Still, there are many ways to economise, even at Christmas! Do the kids expect large presents? Why is this? It’s most probably because they have been given [...]
Christmas time can be a very costly time for everyone. This year with the credit downturn or “Credit Crunch” everything seems a bit more difficult than usual. Still, there are many ways to economise, even at Christmas!
Do the kids expect large presents? Why is this? It’s most probably because they have been given large expensive gifts in the past, and they think this is the norm. Time to re-educate them perhaps? Think about the REAL Christmas spirit. It’s better to give your time, rather than just spend endless money on them.
Not everyone can afford to buy big presents, so why not buy really small presents instead? Actually it’s quite a fun thing to do, to have an arrangement with all members of the family and friends, that there is going to be a ceiling on the cost of each present, say $20 maximum. Even $10 will buy a perfectly good gift. It’s not what it costs after all; it’s the thought that counts.
As an example, a friend of mine had an old photo of her cousins, and this photo was particularly scruffy. So instead of going out to buy a present, she scanned this old photo onto her computer, ‘repaired’ it with a few touches, enlarged it, and printed it off on to photo paper. She bought a cheap but nice frame, and hey presto, one present! It’s definitely the thought that counts here.
Remember to stick to just one present for each person, and not three or four!
Do you need to buy new decorations each year? If you do, think about why you do. Decorations should last a few years at the very least. It’s become the usual thing now to decorate the outside of your home, as well as the inside. It looks lovely yes, but expensive to buy, and expensive on the electricity. It’s an area where you could consider cutting back.
What about Christmas Dinner? This too can be less expensive. Oh I know it’s lovely to buy a whole turkey, or goose, or whatever you usually have. But who says you have to buy a WHOLE turkey? In fact who says you need a turkey at all! Try another less expensive dish, and be a little adventurous.
I know someone who is planning to have cold salad on Christmas Day, with cold sliced turkey and some cold sliced ham. Lovely! You could always cook a hot meal on Boxing Day instead.
It might actually be rather nice not having to cook an enormous meal on Christmas Day. More time to play with the kids and relax a little.
At Christmas there is usually too much food left uneaten. Do you throw yours away, or do you keep having turkey sandwiches, turkey stew, turkey curry, for days afterwards? Well, perhaps you might consider buying less food in the first place. Think of the savings.
Then there’s the New Year. Time for a party surely? Well, the same thing applies here too. No need to splash out on such a lot of food and drink as usual. You know, it’s surprising but after the majority of parties there’s such a lot of food left on the table it’s difficult to know what to do with it. Most of it will inevitably be thrown away. What a waste!
Start the New Year with a Resolution. Spend less. Try different ideas instead of simply spending money you haven’t got. My advice would be to Plan Ahead in whatever you do, and in the majority of cases you will be able to economise.
The information above does not only apply to Christmas time – it’s good to be careful with your finances all year!
Have a Very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.
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