How to plan financially for Christmas when money is short
September 14, 2016
Christmas can be stressful for all of us, but particularly so if you are short of money and have a limited budget for presents and celebrations. Making the money stretch can be very difficult, but you can plan ahead to make the most of the New Year sales.
If you follow our tips for budgeting and saving, you’ll soon be in control of what can be the most expensive time of the year.
So where do you start with your financial plan for Christmas, and how can you get the most out of your money?
Spread the cost over the whole year
Although buying presents for the following Christmas may seem a little premature when you are still celebrating the current one, it’s never too early to save on items that you will need to buy at some point anyway.
If you have the money available and see some gifts that would be ideal, it’s wise to take advantage of the discount and get ahead for next year. You can also make huge savings on Christmas cards and wrapping paper, costs which are often overlooked, but that add up considerably.
Plan your purchases and start saving as soon as possible
It’s important to make a plan for Christmas spending, and stick to it. That means setting an affordable budget for each friend or family member, and not being tempted to spend more money on them in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
If you can afford to put some money aside each week starting in January, however small the amount, you’ll be surprised how much you have saved towards the end of the year. It’s also a good idea to keep the money out of reach in a separate account to avoid temptation.
Make your own gifts
Most people love receiving homemade gifts, as they understand the time and effort that’s gone into making them. You can also save yourself a lot of money this way if you have the spare time.
Even if you don’t consider yourself to be crafty or creative, there are plenty of tutorials online for making biscuits, chocolates, and other gifts, and even for creating your own wrapping paper and gift tags.
Cut back on the presents
As families grow in numbers, Christmas can sometimes feel like a financial burden rather than a pleasure. Others in the family may be feeling the strain on their finances too, and might welcome the idea of cutting back a little.
It’s the thought that counts, and although each gift may cost less, you can tailor it to the individual – then you stay in control of your finances without losing the spirit of Christmas.
Christmas food and drink
It’s not just the presents that can send you into debt at Christmas. Food and drink is a crucial part of the celebrations for many people, but the cost can cause misery and debt for months to come.
It’s tempting to buy everything you need just before the big day, but as with the presents, there are certain food items you can buy during the year. Non-perishables, such as packets of sauces and stuffing, can be purchased months before the big day and stored safely.
Scotland Debt Solutions helps people in Scotland to deal with debt by offering professional help and advice in complete confidence. Our aim is to help you deal with existing debt, and prevent further financial decline. Call one of the team for a free initial meeting – we have four offices around Scotland.
The start of a new year is the perfect time to take stock of your finances and put plans in place for a financially savvy year ahead. While you may feel your problems are insurmountable, there are always things you can do to help, most of them surprisingly easy. Here are 7 ways you can […]
If you have credit card debt which is attracting a high level of interest, moving this balance onto a lower interest card could save you a considerable amount of money. This process is known as a ‘balance transfer’, and if done correctly, this process could save you money and also reduce the time it takes […]
Many thousands of young Brits are being actively encouraged towards taking on debt and spending borrowed money even before they reach their 18th birthdays. That’s according to the price comparison website comparethemarket.com, whose research suggests that roughly one in four 16 and 17 year olds in the UK have been offered credit cards or asked […]
If you’re in serious debt with no hope of repaying your unsecured creditors, you don’t have to wait for a creditor to take legal action against you. You may be able to take matters into your own hands and apply for sequestration (bankruptcy in Scotland). This also prevents your situation from worsening. There are two […]
If you’re looking to save some money it’s a good idea to make a detailed budget that lets you see where your cash is currently being spent, and offers an overall view of your finances. You’ll need to collect together your income and expenditure details, including annual costs such as insurance, car expenses, birthdays and […]
Scotland has a number of formal debt solutions that can help you deal with a difficult financial situation. It’s advisable to take action as soon as possible, however, to prevent your levels of debt escalating when interest and other charges are added. Obtaining professional advice is key in this respect. An approved money advisor or […]