Christmas is a period of feast, celebration and indulgence. However, between all the delicious food, the presents, the holiday parties, the new clothes, the plane tickets to travel home, and other expenditures, you might find yourself realizing that you’ve gone a bit overboard during the month of December. Consequently, January awaits you with debt, austerity and money problems. Can all that stress be avoided? Absolutely. Here are some tips on how you can avoid January stress and regrets. Happy holidays!
Save money ahead of time
If you want to have more money for presents in December, don’t go into overdraft on your credit card. Going into debt is not the solution to your problem. Instead, start saving up and start as early as possible. Some people manage this situation by starting Christmas shopping early and collecting presents throughout the year. This way, the cost is spread across several months and is not suffered all at once. If you don’t want to do that, put some money aside each month in your Christmas present cookie jar.
Set yourself a budget
I know it’s tempting to go all out on gifts for your loved ones (and for yourself!), but when you can’t afford it, you need to learn how to hold back. The easiest and most efficient way to do that is to make a list of all the presents and expenses you need to make and then either set a budget for each thing or set a big budget for presents, one for food, one for travel, etc. Being savvy about how you share your money amongst your responsibilities will go a long way.
Take advantage of sales
This time of year, sales abound. Black Friday can turn into a freak show very fast; the deals are just as good online. Enjoy discounted shopping from the comfort of your own home, without having to elbow people out of the way. If you’re very efficient, you can get all your Christmas shopping out of the way before December even rolls around. For later shopping, Boxing Day is the second heavily discounted day in just a few weeks, so, this time around, you can get everything you missed on Black Friday.
Do It Yourself
With a little bit of time and patience, you can hand-make a lot of different Christmas-related things. From presents to decorations, you will be surprised at how good they end up looking. Not everything needs to be store-bought and especially when it comes to presents, sometimes something that is handmade is more appreciated than something you just bought at the store.
Never buy something the first time you see it, with the first price available. Instead, take the time to shop around. Otherwise, you may end up overpaying for an item that has been marked up to heaven and back, when it is also available at a different location for a heavily discounted price. Particularly if you are looking to make a major and expensive purchase, it is in your best interest to look around and check out the competition. Remember that the best deals can always be found online.