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Four Best Money Tips for Christmas

Four Best Money Tips for Christmas

Every Christmas it’s the same story for many families; not enough money to go around, overspending and an aftermath of too much debt, stress and depression. It is ironic that the season of good cheer should leave such disastrous effects in its wake. Here are the four best tips for surviving Christmas with your money intact.

  1. Get more cash. Sell your surplus stuff online, have a garage sale, make things to sell at the weekend markets, increase your saving, earn more through working longer hours or additional part time work. If you still don’t have enough, spread the cost over January as well by using a small bank overdraft as a last resort. As soon as you have paid all your debts, start saving for next Christmas.
  2. Get a Pre-NUP (Pre-Christmas No Unnecessary Presents) agreement with your family and friends. They will be as delighted as you are that their Christmas list is shorter. If you share Christmas with a large family group, have a ‘Secret Santa’ party so you each only have to buy one gift. Alternatively, set a limit on the value of gifts.
  3. Do a Christmas budget. Work out how much you have to spend, and put that money aside in a separate bank account. You will then be able to keep track of how much you have spent. Make a list of items to buy and stick to it. Avoid impulse buying by keeping to your list or waiting until the next day before you buy something you have spotted.
  4. Buy online. Use the internet and ‘shopbot’ websites to find the cheapest price for the items on your shopping list.  Keep an eye out for daily deals on the items you want, but don’t get tempted by anything not on your list.

 

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Take a Christmas Break

Planning for Christmas

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.

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