Friday, 1 December 2017

Finance Fridays – Keeping out of debt at Christmas

Keeping out of debt at Christmas
Welcome to this week's Finance Fridays. Last week we were looking at The Budget. This week it's about the cost of Christmas. Now we are in December many people have received their last pay packet before Christmas. The organised amongst us will have got all the presents wrapped and food bought and ordered. Whether you have got everything under control or still have a full list of items to tick off the cost can certainly add up. Each year more and more people get into debt through over spending at Christmas and a lot of those people are still paying off last year's overspend. Here's some tips to keep the costs down and keep out of debt this Christmas.

Don't give in to pressure – We've probably all seen the photos on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with presents piled high. There's also the comments where people think unless you spend a certain amount of money you are being mean. How other people lead their lives is not your concern. For all you know they could be maxing out the credit cards themselves in order to pay for everything.

Budget for what you can afford – Budgeting for what you would like to spend on people and what you can actually afford is completely different. If you haven't got the money then you need to abandon list A and do present list B.

Secret Santa – Cut down on the present list by organising a Secret Santa. If you manage to get a group of people together you can cut the overall number of presents you need to buy substantially.

Favours gifts – Give the gift of your time in the form of babysitting, dog walking or helping out with some DIY.

Save it for later – If can't afford a present now then make an offer for next month or even later on. This can work for offering to pay for a trip to the cinema or a meal out.

Divvy up Christmas meals – Turkey and all the trimmings doesn't come cheap these days and if you are hosting for a number of people you could be quite out of pocket. Think about asking people to bring a course or drinks. Alternatively you could be bold and opt for the controversial option of charging your guests for their Christmas dinner.

Enjoy a gift – A gift should be given to give pleasure to the recipient rather than make them feel anxious about giving something back in return. This is particularly the case when you have been given something by someone you know has expensive tastes and you feel it would be difficult to match their level of spending. If you don't feel you are in the position to give a gift back then don't.

How do you budget for Christmas? What do you do to stay out of debt?

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Finance Fridays

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