It’s the most wonderful time of the year, Christmas is everyone’s favorite time. Across the world, we are glad to welcome the festivities that this period ushers in, especially with the kind of year we have had so far, many of us are looking forward to spending some time with our nearest and dearest.
Although this year’s Christmas may slightly differ because of the lockdowns in some parts of the world and restricted travel. It is, however, expected that people will go out of their way to make Christmas special and festive for their loved ones, because, now more than ever we feel the need to comfort one another with love, affection, and gifts of course!
With online shopping is at an all-time rise, it is anticipated that a lot of brands have upcoming mega sales for the festivities. Black Friday was just a tip of the ice burg of what Christmas sales will look like. So, how does one shop and ensure a very festive celebration for family and loves ones without breaking the bank? Today I am sharing with you 5 important money tips for the holidays.
5 important money tips for the holidays:
1. Look through your financials
If you have been saving for this period then kudos to you, if you haven’t no worries. All you have to do is take a look through your financials (ie. Bank accounts, bank statements, saving accounts, etc), to decide on an amount of money you may want to spend this Christmas. A good tip will be to transfer that sum into another account. This would be your “Christmas spending” account aka your Christmas budget.
Please note that you are not to spend outside this amount of money. Also, ensure that this amount set aside do not leave your other accounts in the red and do not affect your emergency fund in any way.
If married or living with a partner, ensure you do this financial check with your partner, as both of you will be making spending decisions together and buying joint gifts for loved ones.
2. Draw up your detailed Christmas spending budget
What gifts are you buying, how much will you designate for gifts? Are you decorating? How much are you budgeting for that? Are you hosting the whole family or friends? How much are you setting aside for that? What will you need to pull that off? All these should be in your detailed spending budget and should be drawn up with that amount you already set aside for Christmas in mind.
3. Avoid credit card debt
This is really not the year to put money on your credit cards hoping to pay later in 2021, especially if you have other unpaid bills/debt such as the mortgage, car notes, your student loan debts and so on. If 2020 has taught us anything, we now know the importance of being financially smart and making the right financial decisions for ourselves. We do not know what next year will bring, so do well to avoid any unnecessary debt at all cost.
4. Be intentional about spending
Yes, it’s the season to be merry but we can get carried away by certain things. This is the time to be very intentional about spending. Do you really need those new Christmas lights? Or new ornaments? Do you really have to handle the Christmas party alone? No, you can ask for help, tell your family members or friends to show up with drinks or some food like a potluck. You can even make it fun, by conducting a raffle draw where whatever anyone picks is what they contribute to the Christmas party. If they cannot, they can send you the cash equivalent. You will be surprised how happy and excited they will be to pitch in.
Also when gift buying, you can cut back on buying expensive gifts, especially if you’re sure you cannot afford them. Why not give them something you’re sure they will use, like an experience gift, movie tickets to see a movie you know they would love to see, gift cards/coupons to their favorite coffee shop or shopping center, and so on.
5. Do less enjoy more
Spending and financial commitments should not get in the way of enjoying this wonderful time of the year. Ensure you cut back where necessary, don’t take on any responsibilities you know you cannot fund, do not buy any gifts you know you cannot afford. Just do less, and take care of yourself more so that you can enjoy the festivities more.
With spending is on a high during this period, this can mean, extra financial stress which can be avoided. Your loved ones wouldn’t want you to go into debt. So do well to cut down accordingly in areas you do not need to be spending so much on.
In all make sure you have a lot of fun with your loved ones, enjoy the joy the season brings and be merry. Wishing you a very merry and financially intentional Christmas.