Christmas might be the most wonderful time of the year, but who are we kidding? In this day and age, it’s also arguably the most expensive time of the year. The average American adds to their debt by about $1000 at Christmas. And just like how a dog isn’t just for Christmas, neither is debt; that’s going to be looming over their shoulders long after the festive lights have been taken down.
As such, it’s a good idea to get planning about how you’re going to navigate the yuletide period without your financial standing falling through the floor.
We take a look at four tips below.
1. Don’t Start The Celebrations Too Early
Christmas Day is, as well as know, December 25. And while the festivities will likely begin in the days running up to the big day, sometimes they can start much earlier. It’s often the case that the second December 1 rolls around, everyone gets into the festive spirit.
And while there’s nothing wrong with being in a jolly mood and enjoy this time of year (actually, it’s encouraged), you’ll be doing your wallet a favour if you say no to the many events that take place early in the month. You’re going to have enough to spend in the week around the 25th; keep the early month activities to free events only.
2. Sell the Old Junk
Our salaries don’t magically increase just because Christmas is rolling around. Yet because there’s so much to spend money on, we need to find ways to boost our bank account. So take a look around your home. Many Americans have thousands of dollars worth of unused goods just sitting in their home! You can get a lot for your smartphone and other technology. And before you think “sell my cell phone? Are you crazy?” we don’t mean your current phone. We mean the one you were using before this one, which is probably just sitting in a drawer somewhere. Once you’ve had a clear-out, you might find that you’re actually up for the festive period.
3. Make Savings On Presents
Most of the money we spend during the holidays goes on buying presents. But there can be a big difference in the amount we spend, even for the same items. It’s all about where and when you buy. The closer we get to the big day, the cheaper items might be (some sales begin on the 23rd, for instance). Also, there are websites that allow you to price compare. You might be able to save a decent percentage on a present just by going to buy it from another store. Never blindly accept the first price you see; it might not be the best one!
4. Make Payments Early
The problem with Christmas and New Year’s is that they fall at the end of the month, when most of our other bills come out. To make sure you have a firm grip on your finances, look at making payments early. It might not save you money (though will in some cases), but will prevent you from spending money that’s earmarked for an important bill around Christmas.
Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.