The holidays are just around the corner, and with them often comes a lot of financial stress. So how do you take it easy? Well first of all, you want to be prepared for the holiday spending, as much as you can. Yes, less than a month is not a lot of time to save money from your paycheck, but every little will help in order to avoid charging your credit card for Christmas. The last thing you want to start the year with is debt. Moreover to pay for an even that is in the past!
Start by setting the amount you are willing to spend on Christmas. Don’t go crazy, it is only one day of the year. You want your family to have a good time, but if you think about Christmas in the past, what you usually remember is the quality time you shared together, and not really which presents you got from whom. A good way to start is having a discussion between adults and agreeing to only do presents for the kids, or do secret Santa for adults so you only need to buy one gift.
There are many places where you can shop for nice gifts on a budget, but probably the best you can do is try to make the gifts yourself. Find a nice jar and bake some cookies, or create a photo album for your loved ones. That is something they’ll remember much longer than yet another sweater.
If you can’t afford the cost of Christmas right away, you should look into 0% balance credit cards, or at least reward cards. The best credit cards are the ones that offer points you can trade for miles, hotel nights and other items. They can help reduce the cost of traveling to your family for Christmas.
If you opt for a 0% balance credit card, make sure you keep making the maximum payment you can afford, and mark the date the 0% deal is ending in your calendar, so you can either transfer the remainder or pay off the entire balance.
Starting to shop now for Christmas will save you a great deal of stress and money. Online shopping is an easy way to avoid the mall frenzy, and with weeks to go, you are guaranteed to get your gifts delivered with plenty of time. Online shopping helps you avoid impulse buys, and makes it really easy to compare similar items from different stores in just a few clicks. Some stores are really good at suggesting the perfect gift for boys, girls, age range, etc.
Regarding groceries, once again you can shop in advance for non perishable items, and look online for deals on alcohol and other Christmas delicacies. Ask people to bring over a dish in lieu of gifts.
Ask the kids to make Christmas decorations. They can be simple things with leaves and pine nuts you’ve found on a walk, or paper maché and other easy crafts you can look on Pinterest for inspiration.
And remember Christmas is about sharing and not material things!