6 tips to stretch your money this holiday season
Christmas can bring a lot of joy, as well as a lot of budgeting challenges. And with recent rising inflation and interest rates, this holiday season could be one of the trickiest to budget yet.
Many of us may need to cut back on our Christmas spending this year to avoid ending up with debts that could take until Christmas next year to pay off.
However, you can reduce your Christmas budget costs and still have a holiday full of festive cheer.
Cheer that includes knowing that this season’s “ho ho ho” won’t become an “oh no no no” when your bills arrive in the new year.
Here are six tips to help you budget for a Christmas that won’t break the bank.
Plan your Christmas shopping now – including for next year
We know it’s easier said than done, but it pays to do as much Christmas shopping as you can well ahead of time.
Items like cards and decorations – which you can save for next Christmas – often become much cheaper straight after Christmas. You can also plan some of your Christmas present shopping at the start of the year, and take advantage of the best bargains as and when you see them.
Look for second-hand or unwanted gifts
Gumtree, Facebook, charity shops – there are a lot of places you can find quality second-hand goods that make great gifts, often for a fraction of the price that they would be new.
There’s a lot of stuff you can even find for free, such as Christmas decorations and other items. Sustainable and budget friendly – win-win!
Make a budget and stick to it
It’s very easy to go overboard with your Christmas shopping. Don’t! Set yourself a budget and stick to it. And remember, if you go under your budget, anything you save will be a cherry on top.
Buy what you need, not what you want
There is often a tendency to buy things we don’t need during the festive season, sometimes just because it’s on sale. Always ask yourself “Do I want this or need this?”. Try to stick to only what you need and do away with the wants if you want to manage your finances better.
Leave big purchases until after Christmas
Remember, Christmas is only just one day. If you’re planning to shop for big-ticket items, wait until Boxing Day or the January sales, as you’re more likely to get a better deal.
Also, try to limit yourself to one big-ticket item each year if you can – and only get that if you can afford it. It’s very easy to put items on your credit card and worry about it ‘later’, but remember you’ll still need to pay that bill.
Keep your credit simple
Spending only what you can afford will help your wellbeing. However, if you do need credit you can responsibly manage, compare the different products that are available and make sure you find something that best suits your situation and needs.
From everyone here at the Credit Simple team, we wish you a very happy and joyful holiday season and a prosperous new year.
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