Christmas is a magical time of year but with it comes debt for so many people. It is hard being on a tight budget at this time of year and not falling into that trap of overspending and getting into debt.
But does this have to happen………..well not really.
I am very much an open book as you can see from all our monthly income posts, some months we are in the green and others we are in the red. My husband is the one that works while I am at home taking care of the girls and I try to make sure we live as frugal as can be. When it comes to the end of the year we make sure that we still have savings left, even after all the expense of the festive season, which again I try to get a few bargains here and there to keep costs down.
Here are a few tips to help you on that road to having a debt free Christmas.
1. Know Your Finances
If you haven’t already I suggest you see how your finances are looking right now. If you list down your income against your essential expenses then you will get a figure that can either go towards savings or money you can spend. As long as you are within the amount you have coming in you won’t get into debt.
2. Make A List
That’s right if Father Christmas is making a list and checking it twice, you need to as well. Make a list of each person you need to buy for and with the amount of money that you are able to spend on presents over Christmas, set each one a budget. There are some people that might be on your list that you really don’t have to buy for. We all have them! So even if you get a bottle of wine or some flowers etc they will be just as thankful as if you bought them an expensive gift.
3. Be A Smart Shopper
If there is a specific present that you know you just have to get for someone then make sure you shop around both instore and online. Check out Topcashback and Quidco who give you cashback on purchases through specific retailers, or even google for a discount code for a certain shop. 9 times out of 10 I always manage to find a discount code which allows me to save a lot of money.
Make sure you look on eBay as sometimes people sell new or hardly used gifts which allows you to get a great deal. Second-Hand does not have to mean cheap especially when it comes to children. This year to save money my girls are having all my old Animal Hospital Toys from 1996, (which is a lot) because they are still in great condition and the girls are going to love unwrapping it all. They are not bothered if it’s new or used and they will get just as much enjoyment out of it as well.
5. Turkey or not to Turkey?
When it comes to the Christmas Turkey it can cost an awful lot for just that one part of the meal. If you are someone that is all about the turkey at Christmas then make sure you just get one to feed the number of people you are catering for, don’t get the next size up just in case because you will probably find it will go to waste and do a comparison online to make sure you are getting the best deal. However, if Turkey is not a major factor at Christmas then look for an alternative option to save money such as making or buying a beef wellington or even doing a vegetarian Christmas.
The last thing to do is to just enjoy Christmas and remember that every penny saved means you that bit further to having a debt free Christmas.