For many of us, Christmas can mean a large drain on our bank accounts and possibly even accumulating debt on credit cards. Here are some tips to help keep your finances in shape these holidays.
Create a Christmas Budget
Create a budget for entertaining and gifts that is realistic, before setting out shopping, and have your Christmas list on-hand for all your family and friends. Allocate a certain amount to each person and ensure you keep to the budget.
It’s always better to plan a few months in advance leading up to Christmas. Look at how you can cut back on some extras to help save money every month. For example, it might mean skipping getting your car washed every week and instead washing your car yourself or skipping your Friday McFlurry and cheeseburger from McDonald’s.
Some of the best gifts, however, are the more thoughtful personal gifts that don’t have to cost a lot. An example of this could be a photo album or frame filled with photos for a relative or friend, or even home-made or baked items.
Shop Early and Shop for Deals
Look out for all the good deals months before Christmas. A good opportunity is to buy on Black Friday Specials, only a few weeks before Christmas. Some items are especially good to buy on Black Friday such as Apple products, electronics and home appliances.
So it’s good to have an idea of what you want to get people, a few months before Christmas. This will also help alleviate the stress of last minute frantic festive trips to the mall and overpriced or marked-up goods.
Try doing all your shopping for each person quickly within one hour, avoid browsing and keep to your list.
Specials are not the only way to get good deals on the gifts you want to get friends or family. Before you shop online, look for coupon codes for online stores. Before you shop in retail stores, look out for vouchers you may have received in the post. Even small savings can make a difference.
Be Wise with Credit Cards
If you have to use a credit card for a more expensive item, keep in mind that if you pay back the full outstanding amount within 55 days, credit is usually interest-free. However interest is charged immediately on credit card cash withdrawals, so only use your credit card at a point of sale.
A Christmas dinner for six people can include 2 chickens, 1 lamb, 2 french loaves, mixed green vegetables, 2kg of potatoes, a Christmas cake and salad. The dinner can become expensive for one person to carry the bill. It’s better to ask guests to buy, cook and bring items for the dinner to share the cost.
By following tips such as these, you can keep your finances in shape these holidays.
The facts and opinions presented in this blog article do not necessarily reflect those of the CybiWealth team or FIM Capital Limited. FIM Capital is licensed by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.