Keeping your debt level under control at Christmas time requires a small amount of discipline and a large amount of common sense. Here are a few tips to help keep you afloat as we lead up to the Christmas period:
Set a budget for Christmas and stick to it. Set you budget now before you get caught up in the Christmas frenzy. Decide how much you will spend in total and then check to see how this compares with the amount you have saved already and how much you can save over the next two months.
Make a pact with family and friends. In large families, buying presents can get out of hand, both in terms of the value of presents bought and the number of people you buy for. Make a pact with loved ones on whether you will buy each other gifts and how much you will spend.
It’s the thought that counts. Remember that the value of a gift is not a measure of your love or care for the recipient. A gift that is chosen thoughtfully has much more meaning and value than a gift that is chosen purely on its value.
Take a break from Christmas. If you are still paying off last year’s Christmas spending, let alone starting to save for this year’s, have a year off Christmas to let your savings catch up. One year off is all it takes to get ahead.
Start planning in January for next Christmas. Take advantage of the January sales to stock up in advance. Purchase gifts throughout the year so you can take advantage of special price deals or, alternatively, set aside money each month in a savings account.
Christmas is a time for giving and sharing, but don’t give more than what you have.