The holiday season is here, and while there is a lot to be thankful for and to celebrate during this time, it is also a time where you spend more money than usual. Although it is fun to get involved with the festivities, come January, you might find yourself looking at your bank statement and feel a rush of anxiety when you see how much you have spent, and how your savings might have depleted. This can spoil the whole experience, so if you don’t want to face financial stress and worry in the new year, use the tips below.
Set a Budget and Stick to It!
The best place to start if you want to avoid worrying about money after the holidays is by setting yourself a budget. This budget can cover spending limits on gifts, social events, and food and drinks at home for the festive feasts. Breaking up your budget into categories can help it become easier to manage, and you should keep a record of how much you have spent to stay on track.
Find Ways to Boost Your Income
Even setting a budget isn’t always easy, and you might find yourself needing some extra cash to cover the cost of celebrations without dipping into your savings too much. Under these circumstances, finding a part-time job to help increase your income during this time of year is worth looking into. There is a lot of seasonal work that you can do temporarily during the festive period as a lot of retailers need extra help, or there are themed events that need workers to help run them. You could even look at working as a courier driver on the weekends as there will be a rise in packages being sent over this time of year. You can find courier jobs on dedicated websites online such as https://shiply.com/us/courier-jobs.
There are always sales events happening in the run-up to the holidays; Black Friday and Cyber Monday being some of the most popular. However, retailers will continue to run special offers throughout this period and if you want to manage your finances effectively, taking advantage of these deals is a good way to do this. You can still manage to spoil your loved ones with nice gifts and indulge in tasty food without breaking the bank if you do seek out these promotions.
Host Parties at Your Home
Going out is always good fun, but it can get expensive. If you and your loved ones want to do a lot together during this time of year, suggest that you organize some parties or other social events at your house or someone else’s. Everyone can bring some food or beverage so the host doesn’t have to spend a lot of money on feeding the group, and you will all save money by doing this rather than going out to restaurants, bars, etc. You can all still spend a lot of time together having festive-themedfun, but no one is draining their bank account.
Look into Early Savings
Another way you can ease the financial pressure on yourself after Christmas is by starting to save for the festive period earlier in the year. There are some schemes available where you will pay in a set amount a month and can use the cash in the forms of vouchers at various retailers, helping you to cover the cost of gifts, food, decorations, and more. If you don’t feel like signing up for one of these savings schemes, you can always start a Christmas fund by opening a separate savings account with your bank. When you start putting money into this account will be up to you, but the sooner you start, the more money you will have when the holidays arrive.
Handmade Gifts and Decorations
Turning your home into a winter wonderland is all part of the fun at this time of year; however, Christmas decorations are not cheap. Even if you’re not buying the most expensive items, they all add up and can leave your bank account drained if you’re not careful. Instead of hitting the stores to find new baubles for the tree or centerpieces for the table on Christmas day, consider using your crafting skills instead. Making homemade decorations is not only a great way to save money, but it can be the perfect festive activity to do with your friends and family during the holiday season.
Handmade gifts are another option you can explore if you want to save money over the festive period. Not only can this help to alleviate financial stress in the new year, but they are also incredibly personal, which makes them the best kind of gift. If you are good at crafting, baking, painting, drawing, or some other talent, making gifts yourself to give to your loved ones can be a very touching and unique gift that they will love.
Choose Recipes That Use the Same Ingredients
One of the best things about Christmas is the food, and while you might want to fill your dining table with all kinds of delicious treats, if you want to save money, being clever with your menu planning is a must. Rather than selecting dishes that all require different ingredients, try to do the opposite. This will result in you having to buy less at the grocery store as you can use the same herbs, spices, fillings, etc., in more than one dish. Furthermore, this will help to reduce food waste which can be high over the Christmas period, making your menu a more sustainable one, too.
Make a Note of Direct Debits and Other Payments
You might take time off work over the holidays, but that doesn’t mean your bills will stop being processed. With everything else going on over the festive period, it can be easy to forget about when your monthly bills are due to come out of your bank account. Forgetting this can leave you getting caught short, so to avoid worrying about being overdrawn or unable to pay your bills on time, make a note of when your direct debits and other payments are due. This will make sure you’re not spending your household bill money or having to dip into your savings to cover these costs. You might also want to think about when your bills are due in January to make sure you have enough to cover these costs, especially if you are taking any unpaid time off over Christmas to spend with your family.
Feel Comfortable Saying No
When the holiday season arrives, it’s not uncommon to be invited to parties or asked to join in other festive activities during this time. While these are all great fun and can help you get into the Christmas spirit, filling up your social calendar can quickly result in a depletion of funds in your bank account. Just as hosting parties at your home can help you save money, being comfortable saying no when your friends ask you to come out for drinks or other engagements that will cost you money is sensible too. This doesn’t make you a Scrooge; it will simply help you to be financially healthier when January arrives.
If you want to avoid financial pressures in the new year, use these tips to make sure your spending is kept under control over the holidays.