In just a few months we will be well into the Christmas season. The true spirit of Christmas tends to be overshadowed by the insatiable hunger of marketing men who tempt you into overspending so that the New Year sees you broke and wondering why you decided to remortgage the house in order to celebrate one day in the year.
OK, so you may be detecting a hint of cynicism here, but in these times of economic downturn, many families struggle to get through this festive, financial hurdle. Here is some advice on how to ensure your bank balance doesn’t become as red as Rudolph’s nose:
1.Go Easy On The Food
Observing the frenetic activity in my local supermarket a few days before Christmas, one would think the world was about to end the way shoppers stack up their trolleys with food. There is always surplus food which lies around festering in our cupboards and fridges in the aftermath of Christmas. It doesn’t get eaten and is a waste of food and money. Consider buying a smaller turkey and go easy on the essentials such as bread and milk – the shops do open up again on the 27th!
2.Consider Having An Old Fashioned Family Christmas
Families tend to live further apart compared to 40 or 50 years ago when many resided in the same town. Getting together with your extended family and sharing the cost of your Christmas Day feast might be a good way to save money and reconnect with loved ones at the same time.
3.Save Those Expensive Presents Until The Sales
So little Timmy wants the latest X-Box game which leaves little change from £50 these days, but seems worth it as it keeps him quiet on Saturday mornings when you’re trying to have a lie in. Considering buying the latest games and gadgets until after Christmas, could save you a lot of money – providing you are able to convince your kids that Santa is experiencing some delays and will be arriving after Boxing Day.
4.Buy Your Christmas Cards And Decorations In January
I used to laugh at people who buy their Christmas cards and decorations in January when their prices are slashed, and thought it was all a little bit sad. But maybe they are the ones laughing at me, when they see me forking out a fortune on Christmas baubles in December.
5.Live Without The Decorations For One Year
I guess this one depends on whether or not you have kids. If you don’t maybe you could live without the decorations this year. And if you do have kids, consider getting them to make the decorations which will give them hours of fun and get them involved.
6.Buy ‘Family’ Christmas Presents
If you have a large extended family, buying presents for each member can leave you cursing the spirit of Christmas as you begrudgingly hand over their gifts. Rather than buying individual presents, consider buying a present for the whole family such as a board game. This will save you some cash and help heal the inevitable family rifts which occur on Christmas day.
Alastair is a freelance writer and supplied this article on behalf of Bundles of Joy who supply personalised Christmas baubles amongst other festive gifts.