Christmas is a time for joy, togetherness, and celebration.
However, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the festivities and find yourself overspending, leading to financial stress that can linger long after the decorations are put away.
At PayPlan, we understand the importance of financial wellness, especially during the festive period. In this blog, we’ve shared valuable tips on how to spend less this Christmas and prioritise your financial health.
Set a Realistic Budget
Before you start shopping for gifts and planning festive feasts:
- Take the time to create a realistic budget.
- Determine how much you can comfortably spend without going beyond your budget and affecting your financial stability.
- Be honest with yourself about your current financial situation and commit to sticking to your budget.
Our budget planner can help you determine how much you have left after your essential costs.
Make a List and Check It Twice
Just like Santa, make a list of the people you want to buy gifts for. A clear plan will help you avoid impulse buys and ensure you’re only buying what’s necessary.
With Christmas Day falling on a Monday this year, there is a full shopping week before December 25th, meaning there’s less pressure to buy and more time to plan your shopping.
Consider thoughtful, meaningful gifts that may not break the bank but carry sentimental value.
And why not have a list of things you might like for Christmas, too? By doing this, you’ll be able to make sure you get things that you actually need/want, potentially saving money for yourself in the long run.
Embrace DIY and Thoughtful Giving
The BBC reports that pressure on families from the rising cost of living has led to fewer expensive toys on sale this year, highlighting the situation many families find themselves in.
With that in mind, it’s important to understand that not every gift needs to come with a hefty price tag. Get creative and consider do-it-yourself gifts, like handmade crafts or a personalised photo album.
Thoughtful gestures often mean more to the person you’re buying it for than expensive presents, and they can be a wonderful way to show you care without putting financial pressure on yourself.
You could also agree with your loved ones to set a price cap on gifts or take part in Secret Santa so there’s less spending and a price cap in place.
Take Advantage of Sales and Discounts
Once you’ve got a budget in mind, you don’t have to go out and spend it in one day.
Keep an eye out for sales, discounts, cash-back, and other special promotions like employee reward schemes.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be prime opportunities to save money on gifts and decorations – but remember to check the price using comparison websites to make sure you’re actually saving money. Which? has a guide to help you with price checking.
Planning your buys around these events could help you save money without sacrificing the joy of giving. And it’s important that you don’t overspend or buy items just because they’re lower than their usual price.
Plan Festive Activities Wisely
The holiday season is not just about gifts; it’s about creating memories with loved ones. Look for free or low-cost activities in your community.
Whether it’s a winter walk, a movie night at home, or a dinner with friends, the focus should be on the experience, not the expense.
You could create ‘tickets’ for a day out that you’ve planned later in the year and give that to your loved ones this Christmas.
While it might seem odd to already think about next year’s Christmas celebrations, you could aim to put a small amount of money aside each month. There are plenty of banking/budgeting apps, like Monzo, to help you with this through their ‘pots’ system.
If it’s too late to tweak plans this year, you could consider sharing the burden of Christmas dinner next year. Each of your guests could contribute a plate of food towards the dinner, or you could split the dinner contribution into starter, main, and dessert between your guests.
If you’re worried about your finances and need free debt advice, we can help. Contact us on 0800 316 1833 to get started or visit http://www.payplan.com/
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