How to keep holidays on a budget
Holidays can be a financial drain, but you can reduce the effect while still making great memories.
05:34 08 January 2014
Many of us struggle with sticking to a budget for our Christmas spending. Even when we set an allowance, it can be just too tempting to spend a little extra, which then magically seems to become a lot extra. It is natural to want to indulge our loved ones, but it is also important to ensure that that indulgence does not ruin our credit or financial stability.
Here are a few ways to keep within your budget.
- Set the proper expectations for loved ones, friends, and even children. If you let them know that Christmas will be a small occasion, they will plan accordingly and will not be offended. With children, it may be more difficult, but you can commit to a “doing” Christmas instead of a gift-heavy Christmas. Family baking, volunteering time, caroling, and playing games are all ways to make the holiday memorable.
- If you are very worried about overspending, consider leaving your credit cards at home or even withdrawing cash. When you have spent all your cash, your Christmas shopping will be done. This budgeting tactic may also help you choose thoughtful gifts since you will not be able to get a large quantity.
- For family members, you may all agree to have a children-only Christmas. You could consider a recipe swap, letter swap, or something else that only costs effort and time. This way you can still show appreciation without the financial strain.
- Try wrapping gifts in tissue paper, or other less expensive alternative. Not only is tissue paper more environmentally friendly, but can also be decorated as you see fit. You could use some stickers to liven up the package for children’s gifts if you want. Writing names directly on the paper eliminates the need for Christmas tags as well.
- Try homemade gifts, or decide to pitch in together for a group outing.