It seems like Christmas comes around faster each year with last year's celebrations only just passed, but unbelievably we are only 15 weeks away from Christmas again. For many people, that means just 3 - 4 monthly wages before the festivities commence. Instead of focussing on the negative elements of Christmas, we recommend some quick fixes so you can be prepared and enjoy the Christmas period.
If the thought of Christmas sends chills down your spine, then read on as there are some quick tips to help prepare you for the festivities.
Top Tips to Afford Christmas
Previous research we had conducted at Debt Support Trust found that a large percentage of people would fail to pay off their Christmas debt by the end of the following year, with most people feeling obligated to spend more than they could afford.
Here are some of our tips to plan ahead and enjoy the Christmas period:
- Plan ahead: If you are purchasing gifts for family and friends then planning ahead is crucial. You can hunt out the best deals on the high street and online, with time for items to be delivered.
- Budget: It's easy to say but spending within limits is the best way to enjoy Christmas. For many, the best part about Christmas isn't the gifts but spending time with family and friends.
- Secret Santa: Remember all those presents you received and thought "I'll never use this"? Well, with secret santa you only receive and give one present to your nearest and dearest. You won't receive presents that you're unlikely to use, you don't have to spend excessive amounts of time and money on gifts meaning you're free to enjoy the holiday.
- Honesty: If money is an issue then most families won't want their relatives to get into debt to purchase gifts as it's often the thought that counts. As a result, honestly tell your family that you're not in a position to spend too much at Christmas and stick to your budget.
Can these financial tips work?
These tips are great in principle, but we're not naive to think that it's that simple. For people contacting Debt Support Trust, often month to month living is hard enough without an expensive holiday like Christmas to contend with too. This means saving and budgeting monthly is next to impossible when you have the standard monthly expenditures like rent / mortgage, council tax and food along with existing credit commitments.
If you're in this situation then perhaps what you need is a pre-Christmas financial assessment. We can help you look at your financial situation and recommend ways we could make things easier. If you're credit cards, loans and overdraft debts mean you're struggling month to month then there could be a number of ways you can resolve these.
Conversations with our debt advice advisors are confidential and better yet, free. You can call us on 0800 085 0226 for some advice on your debts and finances.