So – we are now nearly a week away from Christmas. The likelihood is that you have already triggered your Xmas and New Year plans and are now ramping up for the final stretch. This post is a continuation of the one we had last week – more financial tips for you to consider.
- Avoid using your credit card
- Go Secret Santa
- Keep the Children at Home when Shopping
- Get ready for next Christmas
Yes – it can be very handy particularly if you are cash strapped. Remember though: “If you can’t pay for it in cash, don’t buy it on credit.” As simple as it seems, it’s very effective to ensure that you avoid getting in over your head with credit card expenses this holiday. If you plan to use your card make sure that you have at least 90% of the money you are going to spend in your bank. Aim to settle your credit card statement on time and in full. You may wish to look at our posts on credit card use and the pitfalls to avoid.
If you are looking for ways on managing your spend on Christmas presents, you may wish to go Secret Santa. If you have a large family or group of friends, it can really add up buying a lot of presents – and the recipient gets lots of little things they may not use. Why not get together and do a Secret Santa. You will buy a gift for only one person – the person you are paired with. It might be that you will have a larger spending limit for just the one present – which means the person getting the present gets something of value; are you are saving money buying many small things for everybody in your circle or family. And it is fun as well – even more so if you all agree to inject some humour in the selection of the gifts. There are host of apps that can help you keep it really simple (and secret). By electing one person to administer email addresses, there’s no way of knowing who’s bought for who, and spoiling the fun. One such tool is drawnnames.co.uk.
If you have kids you know that taking them to places where there are toy shops or glitzy attractive stuff most times ends up a tussle between you and your kid bawling his/her head off wanting a particular toy. The same happens, but with lower stakes, when you take them to a supermarket – howling for their favourite sweets. Well as you know – at Xmas, more than other seasons in the year, significant effort is invested by the toy shops and super markets to make sure that your children are nudged towards a must-have toy behaviour. To quieten tantrums and placate your kid you may find yourself having to buy that toy. An expense that you can do with out.
Keep the gifts, ribbons and bags that can be used next year. Immediately after Xmas the sales start – including online. Make a plan of gifts you may wish to buy. Troll the shops including those online and look for excellent bargains. Through out the year there will also be sales windows – look around and see whether there are affordable opportunities. As we move to October there are sales bonanza windows like Amazon’s Prime Day or Black Friday. If you plan ahead you are very likely to have your gifts all wrapped by Black Friday – spending less than you would otherwise spend if you had to leave the gift shopping to the last day.