The Christmas / New Year period is usually a happy, busy time of year but it can also be very expensive. If you’re not careful, you can easily rack up debts that could take months to pay off. So how do you start the New Year without a debt hangover from the holiday season?
The first step in getting organised for the festive season is to make a plan:
Do a Christmas / holiday budget
The next step is to do a holiday budget. Take your plan and cost it out, making sure you include incidental costs. For example, if you are planning to travel, you might budget for accommodation, airfares or petrol, but don’t forget extra costs like eating out while away from home, or the cost of having pets looked after.
When considering gifts, be realistic about what you can afford. If you have children, manage their expectations, and if you have a partner, consider setting spending limits for each other. A thoughtful inexpensive gift may be just as well received as an expensive generic one, so put some thought into who you are buying each gift for, and why.
When you have a reasonable idea of what you intend to spend over the coming holiday period, divide it by the number of pays left in the year, to work out how much you will need to set aside from each pay to cover your planned expenditure. If the amount seems too high, go back to your budget figures and think about where you can cut costs.
Get in early for discounts
With your plan and budget in hand, you can start looking for bargains early. Here are some tips on how planning ahead can save money:
Take some of the stress out of the Christmas / New Year period by planning ahead and doing a budget. After all this should be a time to relax and enjoy with those you love.