Christmas is here again and it smells in the air whenever we approach the month of December. It is a period of celebrations especially for the Christians as they mark the birthday of Jesus Christ.
Irrespective of the economic situation, children, particularly, look towards that day because of the enjoyment galore that is associated with the occasion.
As far as they are concerned, they expect gifts such as new clothes, shoes and all kinds of goodies from their parents and well-wishers and family members.
Be that as it may, it is expedient to have a family budget at the end of every month and sticking to it will go a long way in helping you to have absolute control in managing your finances.
Again, prior to the Christmas celebrations, creating additional budget besides the regular monthly one for the occasion because of the expenses that come with it would also help to surmount financial challenges if properly managed and adhered to when the merriments are over.
Nonetheless, here are some useful tips that would enable you to stick to your budget at Christmas:
Do Not Overshoot Your Budget
Spend only what you have saved and do not exceed your budget as it would leave you with no option than to borrow as some people do to service financial commitments when the festive period is over.
Findings revealed that some categories of people always borrow money to see them through the festive period and you do not have to be like them if you stick to your budget.
Instead of spending above your budget through borrowing, spend within the specified amount you have saved or set aside for the celebrations.
Don’t Forget The Supplements
It’s not just the cost of gifts you need to factor into your budget but that of party clothes, festive decorations, going out more and even a tip for those who have influenced your life positively or being of assistance to you and your family.
Once you have worked out how much you have to disburse in total, you can then allocate it to different items.
Plan Your Shop
Instead of just roving around the shops looking for what is not significant or in your list, work out how you want to spend your budget, and what you want to buy for each person.
Otherwise, it would be difficult to avoid impulse buying. It is imperative you buy only things that are on your list and keep all receipts together in a safe place because peradventure you purchase outside your box, you can return the items.
Avoid Discount Shops
Store cards that entice customers by offering certain percentage of discount on purchases should be avoided at all costs because they indirectly extort money from customers.
Avoid Shopping Online
Don’t get carried away by shopping online as it could be very expensive.
However, while online shopping might spare you from the high street rush, it comes with its own set of dangers especially if you are not paying cash.
To keep within your budget while shopping online, print out receipts as you go along and make sure you are not trapped with extra additional cost such as VAT, postage, packing etc.
Send e-Christmas Cards
Nice Christmas cards are quite expensive these days and around if you are planning to send cards to over 30 people, you will incur a huge cost, as it is not pocket friendly.
Besides, with the advent of Internet technology, you can send an e-Christmas cards instead. More so, they are free of charge and more economical.
Make Your Own Gifts
People are always touched by the fact that you put time and effort to do something nice for them.
Instead of exceeding your budget on expensive gifts, why not be creative and give your friends something handmade? You could design bookmarks, bake cookies or simply invite them over for a delicious homemade dinner.
Party In Your Own Home
Instead of partying with your friends and members of your family in a paid hall during the festive period, you can do that in your own rented apartment as this would enable you to maintain your budget and save for the New Year.
Go For Home Made Items
Avoid unnecessary patronage of fast food joints or eateries during Christmas so as not to exceed your budget. Instead of buying dinner or lunch for your friends or family members in an expensive eatery, why not invite them to your house for homemade food that is by far cheaper.
Besides, who says well prepared homemade food is not better and more hygienic?
At the height of the shopping season, many of us tend to be carried away easily with our purchases, especially for credit card owners. If possible, pay for everything by cash instead of using credit card because this will help you to avoid all the fees and interests that are charged to your card and avoid the surprise of finding out that you actually spent more than you should when your credit statement comes in.