Christmas can put an excessive amount of stress on a closely managed household budget. A change in circumstances, a reduction in working hours or unexpected emergency can throw precarious finances into emergency.
Some families have been found to take up to three years to settle their Christmas spending.
Here are a few tips to help you manage the expense of Christmas;
– Set an upper limit on gifts for adults. Or use a Secret Santa where everybody selects a person to buy for, or a bran tub where there is one gift per person, all ways to reduce fiscal pressure and cost of Christmas. Usually others are more than happy to agree.
– Give children adventures as opposed to gifts. Maybe commit to a special present per child, but then think of strategies to give your time and attention so that you can do things together. Kids often cherish those shared experiences, particularly if parents are usually busy working or doing chores. A day at the beach, the playground, a nature trail, time spent fishing, doing crafts together, playing football are often experiences remembered long after all the expensive gifts have been outgrown.
– origin imaginative gifts at craft fairs and local markets, where there’ll be unique foodstuffs and fancy goods, often without a discernible price tag. A delicious food hamper, locally brewed beers, jewelry, paintings, fabrics are often available for sale at artisan markets and are reasonably priced, so assisting you to handle the cost of Christmas.
– Offer help rather than gifts. A voucher for a day’s babysitting, help with gardening or ironing, a beautiful homemade cake, hair styling or a pamper session may be much appreciated. Any could be a wonderful way to give the recipient some much-needed support.
– Source free amusement and handle the expense of Christmas. Carol services, concerts and country walks are often enjoyable methods of passing a fun few hours and can provide welcome reasons to give everybody a break whilst getting some fresh air.
– Reduce Christmas food spending by preparing beforehand tasty staples like casseroles, stews and pies. It’s often a treat to wrap up warm, like a brisk walk and return to delicious homemade comfort food. Guests will appreciate those relaxed meals as a welcome change from lavish Christmas fare.
– Have you heard of safari suppers; each house provides one course, then moves on for the next course, including everybody in the price and effort. Christmas and post-Christmas can be times when arranging some inexpensive social time can be a welcome break, particularly if it’s local without the need to travel too far from home.
– Accept offers of help. If guests wish to bring wine, food or create their signature dish, accept graciously and lower your financial burden. Let others contribute and feel that they’ve participated in the day. It saves you money and time.
– Resist the temptation to keep on spending. All too often we’ll see another’perfect’ gift or any’must-have’ tasty treat. Stop yourself from appearing! Those things are often unnecessary, nobody will miss them and yet they can add significantly to the overall expense of Christmas. Stay with your master plan and prevent any additional temptations.
Christmas is about sharing food and time with loved ones, family members and friends. It is great to see that more Americans go home for Thanksgiving than for Christmas and yet no presents are exchanged at Thanksgiving. When we stay with the underlying message of Christmas we can have a special, loving time and not need three years to recover from the expense of it all!