Well, it’s that time of year again - and many people out there will be worrying about how they are going to afford the festive period. After all, there is a lot of money being spent during November and December. It comes to an astonishing $52 billion, according to the American Research Group.
The festive period is a wonderful time, but it also brings unhappiness to those that just cannot afford it. And the worry is that you will forget about your financial obligations just to fund a great time for your family. While this is admirable, it’s also a little foolish. And, it’s one of the big reasons why the January and February blues will hit you harder than most. It could also see you out of pocket until well beyond next Christmas.
So, if you are worried about debt and the holiday season, read on. I’m going to spill the secrets of having a frugal - but fun - Christmas that will keep everyone happy. Let’s get started.
Fix a budget
First of all, work out exactly how much you can afford to spend between now and Christmas. Be as honest as possible - and don’t forget your other obligations. The idea here is that you will only pay what you can afford. Every shopping list has to fit within that budget, rather than the other way around.
Don’t panic about gifts
While you want to give your children and family everything they want, you can’t bankrupt yourself. It's worth bearing in mind that no one remembers their gifts, anyway - other than their absolute favorite. The Fortunate Investor recommend that you focus on giving fewer gifts that are more meaningful. This way, you'll have all the memories to enjoy, and none of the debt problems in the late winter.
Always seek out a bargain
The holiday season can be crazy - people pay far more for something than they would at any other time of year. Set yourself apart from the rest and don’t get sucked into this full price madness. Start shopping earlier, and you will find things are much cheaper. Look at refurbished or ‘used once’ goods instead of brand new. After all, as soon as the wrapping paper is off, who is going to care?
Start a ‘Secret Santa.'
Buying gifts for your extended family can be expensive - and it can get out of hand. Instead, why not request that you do a Secret Santa? You buy for a random family member, each individual does the same for another, and everyone gets a single gift. It’s a far more affordable way of giving gifts - particularly if you have a large extended family.
The festive get-together
Teaming up with your extended family for Christmas is an excellent way to cut costs. Everyone could bring their own dish, or you could club together and contribute a set amount of money.
As you can see, there are plenty of tactics you can employ to keep those festive expenses down - without turning into Mr. Scrooge! Let me know if you have any more tips - everyone would love to hear them!