In a year when the coronavirus pandemic has wrought havoc on lives and livelihoods, there will be a strong temptation to spread some festive cheer this Christmas. But the pandemic has also left many families feeling financially insecure as we head into the holidays.
A recent survey by PayPlan found that 79% of people are worried about how they will afford Christmas this year. It also found that two-thirds of people had borrowed money to help pay for Christmas this year, putting them at greater financial risk in 2021.
If you are concerned about the cost of Christmas and want to avoid going into debt, try these simple tips to save some money.
Work out what you can afford to spend
We all want to have the perfect Christmas – with blockbuster gifts for everyone, a good meal and general merriment all round. But Christmas costs quickly stack up. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how much everything costs until it’s too late.
It’s better to work the other way around. First, work out what you can afford to spend on Christmas and plan your holiday around that.
Ban unnecessary presents
Gifting is an important Christmas tradition. Most parents and grandparents will still want to get presents for their children, grandchildren and each other. But this doesn’t mean you should go broke buying for friends, neighbours, colleagues and other loose connections.
Most people feel obliged to reciprocate present giving, so it might help to make a ‘no present pact’ to save money for everyone at an expensive time of year.
Think of cheap or free ways to make Christmas special for children
Christmas is an opportunity to make lasting memories for children. But those memories don’t necessarily need to cost the earth. Oftentimes, it’s the experiences that involve quality time spent with parents and loved ones that are the most memorable of all.
Things like leaving a half eaten mince pie downstairs or taking a Christmas walk as a family can make the holiday feel extra special for less.
Gift your time rather than your cash
Everyone wants to get their loved ones something special for Christmas, but no-one who cares about you would want you to buy something you can’t afford.
Gifting your time could mean baking, painting or making your loved one a gift. It could mean promising to do a sibling’s chores or it could be a jar full of date ideas that you promise to fulfill with your significant other. Remember, it’s the thought that counts.
For more information about personal debt solutions, speak to a member of the team today. Call: 0800 611 8888.