If there’s one season families all over the world likely look forward to, it’s probably Christmas. Aside from presents and Christmas pudding, it’s a chance to share intimate moments with your family. One of the other rituals most people do in their homes and even in workplaces is an exchange of gifts. This means that if you don’t want to end up with a dented bank account come January, financially planning for what can sometimes be steep spending is essential. There are simple ways that you can plan, so you save as much as possible. You’re going to discover how you can budget for Christmas in the below mini-guide.
Decide How Much You Want to Spend
Christmas can be one of the most tempting seasons in terms of spending. During this time, all shops seem to be playing your favorite songs, the ambiance can be inviting, and everything can seem to be begging you to buy it. However, if you don’t want to end up spending all of your money, it may be best to avoid impulse shopping and first decide how much you want to spend. The best way to do this is to see how much cash you can afford to spare after subtracting your core expenses from your income. Also, remember that it’s better to save for Christmas than borrow and put yourself in debt you’ll find hard to repay because of interest and fees.
Create a List of Expenses
Once you’ve worked out what you can afford to spend, you should create a list of expenses. This means listing out all of the potential things you’ll spend money on as a result of the season. Here are a few potential expenses you may encounter.
Gifts – Buying gifts for people can be one of the biggest expenses during this season. Write down every person that you want to buy something for and ideas of items you can get within your budget. It’s okay to leave people out if you absolutely can’t afford it as there’s always next time.
Decorations – One of the fun parts of Christmas is the chance you get to transform your house. Common decorations include a Christmas tree, lights, and stockings. Write down which ones you’ll be buying this time around and don’t forget to make use of what you already have.
Family Activities – Unless you intend to lay around all day, you and the family will likely engage in activities during the Christmas period. Write down potential things you may be getting up to such as playing games indoors and the cost of such games. You may also decide to go out and see a theatre show, so research the cost of some of the best Christmas 2018 shows you and the family can see.
Food – Seeing as you’re unlikely to be working and the family plus guests will be home around this period, you’re probably going to consume more food than usual. Think about what items you’ll need and create a grocery list ahead of time.
Look for Bargains
After you’ve successfully done all of the backend work, it’s time to bargain hunt. You want to ensure you stay within your budget and one of the most practical ways to do so is by looking for bargains. There will likely be several during the Christmas period, so check for discount codes, look in clearances, and check your email for any promos. You may also find that when looking for cheap buys if you shop online and look for free delivery options, you save a significant amount. Also, the earlier you buy, the better in most cases, the better so don’t leave it until the last minute.
Budgeting for Christmas may seem hard, but it’s possible. You’ve just got to put a practical plan in place and make up your mind to stick to it. Doing so should increase the chances of you ending Christmas on a good note financially.