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Christmas is creeping up, for many a time of joy, but for some a time of dread and debt… the shops are packed with gifts and treats and social media is filled with friends posting about the extravagant gifts they are buying or receiving. The pressure to make Christmas magical by spending lots of money is intense and many people put themselves into debt trying to please loved ones.
Don’t get into debt this Christmas, avoid personal debt by following our tips on keeping to budget this Christmas.
Don’t get into debt this Christmas
More and more young people are applying for IVA’s than ever before, official figures showed the number of personal insolvencies climbed to 30,879 in the three months to the end of September, up from 25,169 in the same period last year, yet Christmas is almost always the most expensive time of year for many.
Short term spending can lead to long term debt so it is important that this Christmas, more people stick to a budget to prevent a hard January of regret.
How to have a frugal Christmas
Christmas shouldn’t be just about presents, there are many ways in which you can have fun with family and friends that costs a lot less.
- Have a secret Santa – a secret Santa will mean everyone gets a gift but you don’t have to buy for everyone, you may be able to afford a slightly bigger budget if only buying for one person rather than having to buy gifts for everyone and that way you can spend time choosing something they will really enjoy.
- Buy second hand – you can get lots of second hand toys and electronics on social media or ebay, these are often in excellent condition and can save lots of money
- Make your own gifts – handmade gifts are always appreciated, you could bake, knit, or make a lovely gift for friends and family when you are on a budget.
- Sell old things- get rid of any old toys, clothes, tech that you don’t use, this could be a great Christmas present for someone else and help raise some money for your own gift buying.
- Create a budget (and stick to it) – budget for how much you are going to spend on each person, include a budget for cards and wrapping and stick to that budget.
- Shop around – you’ve found the perfect gift, have a look around to see if you can get it cheaper and see if stores will price match for the best deal.
- Don’t forget about your everyday bills – many people fall into the trap of budgeting their income on gifts but forgetting about direct debits and household bills that need to be paid.
- Don’t compete with social media – you will see lots of people sharing how much they’ve bought but keep Christmas about you, maybe they can afford to buy more, maybe they can’t, don’t feel the need to compete just stick to your budget.
- Get organised – it may be too late for this year but spreading the cost of Christmas is the best way to enjoy it debt free, you can put aside a little money each month all year, or start buying and keeping presents much earlier.