Every family looks forward to Christmas. A time of giving, of eating great food, of entertaining family and friends. Then there’s the obligatory visit to Father Christmas, and of course the youngsters will want to get out and see the panto. Add to the at the parties for the kids and the evenings out and works gatherings for the adults – yes, there is plenty to do at this magical time of the year.
At the risk of sounding like a party pooper, there is no denying that all the above can have quite a significant impact on financial resources, particularly for a larger family. Nobody wants to disappoint the kids, especially at this time of year, but the truth is that in these days of easy credit, there are plenty of families that gift themselves financial troubles for the new year during the festive season.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to stop the costs spiralling out of control, without spoiling anybody’s Christmas.
In a month’s time, you’ll need to start your Christmas shopping. No, we’ve not got our dates muddled up, we mean Christmas 2018. You can save yourself a packet by doing the first round of Christmas shopping in the New Year sales. After all, cards, wrapping paper and thick pairs of socks and gloves are not going to go off, or suddenly go out of fashion between now and next year. And neither are those gift boxes of fancy soaps or candles.
One adult, one gift
You probably spend a fortune on gifts for those extended family members you only see once or twice a year, walk into the grand family gathering with armfuls of gifts that were bought on the basis that they “will do,” and leave hours later with a similar armful of books, boxes of soap, diaries, bottles of indeterminate content and so on. It is madness, and everyone knows it.
Some families have successfully made the change, and have adopted a “one adult, one gift” policy. the idea is that each adult is responsible for buying a gift for one other adult. The names are chosen at random, and this means there is a better chance that each person will get a gift that has actually been purchased with some thought. It’s a great idea, but for it to work, you need to make certain that everyone will to commit to it!
Rationalise other costs
The rest of the world does not grind to a halt over Christmas, and there are still everyday bills to pay and expenses to meet. But this can be a great time to reassess them. You would be surprised at just how much you can save by shopping around. Something as simple as a replacement Epson ink cartridge can cost well over £10 in the shop and be bought for half the price online. Even a HP Envy 5530 Printer Ink cartridge can be found cheaply online at Christmas time. Find just half a dozen savings like that, and you’ve paid for the turkey!
Have a wonderful and financially stress-free Christmas!