Yet again, we enter a new festive season. To many, the festive season can be stressful – buying presents for children, relatives, financing the partying, etc. The likelihood is that this festive season will be on the quiet side – COVID-19 has turned out to be a party spoiler.
Here are some ĠEMMA financial tips that you may wish to follow this festive season.
- Remember your ‘needs’ and ‘wants’. Are you going to buy a new dress for a night out at the restaurant because this is what the crowd you have road with do? Can you afford such an expense, or will you flash your credit card? Can you pay off the debt when the credit card statements is posted through your door?
- Write a list of your priorities. Sit down and work out your budget for this festive season – and include your bills and living expenses. Once you do that set your Xmas budget and stick to it. Do no indulge because it is Xmas. Decide how much you can afford to spend on your children and stick to it. Try not to cave in to the latest doll or game that will cost more if you buy it around Christmas. Waiting it out can mean getting such things at a reduced price later on, for their birthday for instance. It also teaches children delayed gratification.
- Manage the impact of advertising: Advertisements will entice you to spend! When those commercials come on the TV, change the channel. Walk by those promotional offers in the supermarket. They only want to sell you things you do not really need. Children are particularly targeted by advertisers. Teach them that advertisements are designed to get us to buy the item.
- A festive season tailored to what you can afford. You can only do what you can do. The most important part of the holiday season is sharing it with family and friends, which does not cost a penny. Do not compare yourself with others who may be able to get more for their children. Do the best that you can do and make it as special for your children as possible. In the years ahead they won’t remember that expensive gift that you bought them, but they will remember spending quality time together making cookies or singing carols or watching Christmas movies.
- Shop online. Black Friday has passed. Still if you browse online you are likely to find good Christmas deals on Maltese e-shops as well as overseas. Also doing your shopping online means that you – or your children – are not tempted as your troll around for gifts.
- Make presents. If you want to give something personal, memorable and one of a kind, make it! Seriously. Pinterest has a ton of ideas and instructions. Nothing says Happy Christmas like something the person on the receiving end knows that you put in time and effort in putting together. And this is a gift that is likely to be around for many years.