Most of us are filled with enthusiasm as Christmas approaches, starting as early as beginning of November, only to be dismayed to find that they would have spent a good proportion of their salary, if not all, for gift giving. This would eventually mean starting the New Year with a tight budget or with a feeling of guilt for having spent all that money.
The reality is that while the majority of us budget, Christmas expenditure tends to be omitted or taken for granted. Much research in fact outline that presents, Christmas nights out and festive food all add up to amazing amounts spent.
Exchange of gifts is one of the oldest traditions and has remained a central feature associated with Christmas yet, at the same time, such custom can be substituted or reflected upon for wiser prudent decisions. Other than an unwanted / unnecessary present, at times, a family dinner just does the trick. In addition, family gathering would mean quality time together.
– Common remarks such as ‘I wish I had known’ or ‘I had to learn the hard way’ are heard of daily.
– Youngsters at their first experience of work feel unprepared to budget.
– Enthusiasm during the spirit of the season normally drives one to make hasty decisions.
– Hours spent on shopping or trying to find a suitable present, if not days, would result in a burnout.
The cost of all this negativity is high leaving an affect on health, happiness and performance. Exaggerated expenditure would also imply loss of opportunities like saving money. Mistakes are part of the learning process but can be eliminated with simple techniques that enhance our skills and become habits. Thus, we are hereby providing you with a range of practical options that are both money and time savers.
Responsible spending all the way up to Christmas
1. Make a list of the people to whom you have to give a present. Remember gift-giving creates an obligation on recipients to give back, whether they can afford it or not;
2. Determine your total Christmas gifts budget and who is getting what;
3. Consider multiple gifts; estimate the total cost of the gifts chosen. Can you afford? Can you choose one and forgo the other?
4. Do not leave the shopping to the very last minute. Otherwise, you are likely to over pay for everything you buy and incur costs related to wasted time and fuel;
5. Running around and bargain hunting, you may find the right gift, that isn’t overly pricey but still makes a splendid, useful gift;
6. Look for less expensive and needy gifts. Certain presents are easily forgotten, fragile or useless;
7. Keep in view sales, that price reductions start one day after Christmas and that most prices will be slashed by 30% and even 50%;
8. Think: any additional expense made could have been saved and used to cover other fixed expenses such as electricity or internet bills;
9. Decorations, cards, wrappers, certain gifts are additional expenses that can be substituted with handmade decorations;
10. Shopping spree for yourself – can you resist the urge to shop for yourself? Avoid window-shopping – go straight to your gift;
11. Can you go without using the credit card? Leave your credit and debit credit cards at home. Paying cash is a great way to limit your spending. Put in your wallet a predetermined amount of cash;
12. If you need to use the credit card, use it wisely, making sure that the credit card bill will be paid on time.
Saving – our new resolution for the New Year
1. Set aside some money from each pay to cover fixed and variable expenses, including gifts along the year. Use used jars or used envelopes, or set up separate bank accounts for each type of expense;
2. Nobody likes unforeseen expenses that tend to change the mood you are in! Thus, feel prepared by setting up a rainy day fund;
3. Stop and think about investment into a private pension scheme, at the same time, putting your unique needs and overall financial situation a priority;
4. Incorporate < putting some money aside at the end of every month to build a savings egg nest > as one of your new resolutions for the New Year. It’s never too late to start. If needs be, go for standing order via the Bank;
5. Are you interested in saving in an investment or pension product? Ask; clarify to feel comfortable to take a step forward. Do not take decisions with uncertainty. If in doubt seek independent financial advice;
Be smart! Do treasure these suggestions as enriched minds and success are determined by reflection and careful action.