With Christmas almost on our doorstep I’ve been thinking a lot about the cost involved in the tradition of giving gifts to others and the overall cost of the festive season. It can be a very expensive undertaking and for some it can cause a great deal of worry about the level of debt it leaves them in.
If you know anything about me, then you probably know that I don’t really go in for frugality, however I do think that there are plenty of really thoughtful alternatives to buying gifts for the people you care about. Crafts, pictures, art, or personalised gift vouchers for services that can be performed for others are really nice ways to show that you are thinking of them, but in some cases you just can’t go past a store bought gift.
The other Christmas expense that many people don’t consider is the cost of enjoying the holiday season. Most of us take advantage of the public holidays and add a few additional leave days to make the most of some well earned time off. Its always fun to spend the time with family, travel to a different place or just treat yourself to some small luxuries to celebrate. All great things in their own right, but combined they add up to further expenses that many don’t budget for.
Although it happens at the same time every year, the unfortunate fact for many is they don’t think about Christmas until the last minute, they find themselves in need of fast money and apply for same day loans. This might get them through a critical period and enable them to purchase gifts, but it also leaves them with a high interest debt to service long after all the wrapping has gone in the bin.
Just like the rest of your finances, a long term saving goal is the best way to tackle the festive season. It is actually a very simple process, a little money put away each week makes a big difference by the end of the year. The key, as always is sticking to the plan. My personal preference is to create separate accounts for all of my expenses and ensure I treat them as a bill and pay the required amount to each every time I get paid. Make sure you save enough to cover the cost of the gifts you plan to buy as well as some additional funds to splurge on enjoying the festive season.
I hope that you have a terrific Christmas this year and are gearing up to make the most of 2013. I’d love to know what your plans are so please feel free to share in the comments below.