The financial squeeze on your purse.
Audio duration 05:40 Reading duration 7:00 average.
Before we launch into debt at Christmas time. Yesterday we took a look at Christmas overindulgence and keeping a handle on your choices and portions of food and alcohol, without living to regret it.
I also mentioned the benefits of ensuring you get an adequate amount of restful sleep on the lead up to the Christmas festivities.In my final blog, I’m taking a look at one of the biggest causes of stress over this period, financial obligations – and yesterday I left you to mull over a few questions.
I wondered what you would consider doing differently this year if your personal experience of Christmas debt had left you wishing that you’d planned better financially for this holiday period. Or just to do things differently by starting those conversations now with those you share gifts with, and setting some financial parameters.
What happens if you splash the cash?
You may say that Fear of Debt at Christmas time is not an easy feeling to tackle. Especially if the ‘cash-cow has already bolted!’
If it’s not too late, then some considerations right now would be putting on the sensible hat and creating a budget. It may also mean having those conversations where you can discuss what is reasonable with a partner, friends or family members.
And that can include the children’s presents too!
Now keeping in mind that I’m not a financial advisor, and just like you could, I’ve been reading sources that give advice and overall it seems that,
Common sense dictates that we would:
- Set a budget, and decide not to follow the trends or those sneaky advertising campaigns. Work out who you need to buy for and stick to that list.
- Have an agreed spending budget with your partner, so neither of you ends up with debt as a result of ‘showing your love.’
- Avoid impulse buying by planning your visit to the shopping centre during quieter periods. There’s a positive psychological bias to shopping during quiet periods.
- If you’re using a credit card keep all purchases on the one card, don’t spread out the charges. That way you can keep tabs on what you’re actually spending.
- Don’t go wild on toy purchases, stick to one or two that you know will retain the children’s interest once the emotion of Christmas Day has passed. Usually an hour or two after getting out of bed!
‘A promise to myself.’
Make a promise to yourself by setting aside funds which means you won’t buy gifts that you’ll spend the rest of the year trying to pay off. Choose gifts that are meaningful and purposeful for those you love, rather than expensive and financially debilitating.
If you know someone who seems to have everything, would they appreciate a different approach like gifting in their name? If so Google and alternative web search engines can be used to source – ‘Donating to charities for Christmas Gifts.’
Personalised gifts you make yourself.
Secret Santa exchange of gifts can be agreed amongst family it doesn’t only have to be for work colleagues.
If you know someone who seems to have everything, would they appreciate a different approach to gifting in their name? If so Google and alternative web search engines can be used to source – ‘Donating to charities for Christmas Gifts.’
Seek financial advice from a reputable source.
If you do find yourself running into financial difficulty over the Holiday festivities, then it could be time to seek help. Do seek advice sooner rather than later when you are at your wits end worrying about how you are going to manage to pay the bills.
You could use your Google or another web search engine to find a list of ‘Non-Profit Credit Counselling Services’ for your country.
In the UK we many options, including the more well-known Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
I hope you enjoyed this series of blogs looking at what could help you and those you love have a happier and stress-free Christmas and New Year.
You may find that applying one or two of these tips from across my countdown to Christmas series very helpful at keeping you on track. With the stamina to get through the holiday period, enjoy time either doing things for yourself or with family and friends. And that could make a significant difference to your enjoyment and your wallet too.
Even if you focus on just one or two things, the overall effect could be a brilliant Christmas experience with far less stress, compared to those of the past.
The overall message starts from blog 1 in My Christmas Countdown series (click here to revisit)
Click on the links below if you would like to download any of my free resources. And where you can find the documents that accompanied this series:
Good luck and happy holidays!
And thanks for reading.
Whether it’s stress, anxiety or building your confidence in finding your life purpose, I’m here to help. Click on my image to find my contact me page