December is a very unpredictable month, because just as you receive some extra bonuses, the expenditure is also high. This can be due to the festivities, the gifts, the clothes, the Christmas dinner, and even the trips. In this post, I will share with you some useful tips on how to plan for Christmas without breaking the bank.
And although it is a month to take advantage of eating and sharing as a family, you also have to be careful with the budget. Remember that the next salary will be until next year in January.
A slightly loose month for the market in which you will have to manage the little money you have to cater for the bus or to fuel the car. That is why it is extremely important to prepare for the Christmas celebration.
Now, if you have more responsibilities such as children and you have to think about tuition, pension, uniforms, and list of supplies, you have every reason to worry and plan.
Christmas Is Here
It is already 25th December, a holiday and the best times for merrymaking.
Christmas and everything that involves it economically, this time of year, is just around the corner.
Nobody “respects” November anymore and you can see how shopping centers, streets, and houses dusted Christmas decorations, occupying everywhere. The same goes for the planning of parties, dinners, vacations and, above all, the purchase of gifts.
Expenses, expenses, and more expenses.
But how do you manage your personal finances and enjoy the festivities without drowning in debt?
Surely in the course of the year, you thought of saving to be able to face all these expenses.
But if you have not been able to do it, you do not have to worry. There are still things you can do to make the impact less.
If you are one of those who likes simple and uncomplicated things, you can have a manger that only consists of the Virgin Mary, the child, and Saint Joseph, who will not need the space and will leave much cheaper yet lovely life.
The first thing we have to do is quantify the income: salaries, bonuses and other income; then quantify the expenses: rent, savings, public services, food, credit fees, education expenses, etc. To know how much you can allocate to gifts, family reunions, vacations, and others on the Christmas day.
Keep in mind that in case there are more scheduled expenses than income, it is advisable to do without some or make use of credit to finance them but in a responsible manner.
And do not forget to start a savings plan for next year.
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Start Buying Your Christmas Gifts
The ideal thing is to make a list of gifts you wish to purchase and then buy them little by little.
This month we can buy some of them and either pay them in cash or on credit but always with the idea of being able to defer this acquisition to a single installment and avoid interest.
By December we should finish these purchases.
We can also play with the ingenuity and create handmade gifts, which can be much cheaper and more emotional; or we can take advantage of the offers from shops like BlackFriday.
Compare Prices Before Buying
With respect to the previous point, you will have enough time to compare the prices of the items in different places before you buy them. If you search, you are sure to find price differences of the same item in different points of sale, including online shops.
Keep in mind that if you make your purchases online, you need a reasonable time to receive them.
Plan For Traveling During Christmas
If you are traveling, book now and do not wait for the last minute. Without a doubt, one of the most significant expenses occurs if you decide to spend the holidays away from home. The price of air tickets and accommodation are increased at this time of year.
If you intend to travel, search online for offers or tourist packages that suit your tastes and budget. Waiting until the last moment implies paying the extra cost and even not finding a place for the desired destination.
If traveling is not your thing or you can not afford it, you can also enjoy at home with the best Christmas movies or drawings to enjoy with the little ones or making your own postcard.
You can choose to watch a series, enjoy some super movie premiere, listen to some Christmas carol or simply believe in the magic of Christmas.
Proper Use Of Credit Card During Xmas
Use the credit card very wisely: as mentioned above, control the expenses of the credit cards and keep track of the expenditure and the interest that is incurred by deferring the purchases or making advances.
It is essential that you plan the payments of your card along with the other monthly expenses from the following month. This way you will be able to fulfill these payments without being charged extra, and you will avoid entering into default.
Not Only Christmas; Prepare For Next Year
It is very important to think about a savings plan for 2019 and look for additional sources of income since there may be new taxes and increases in prices due to inflation, among others. The rising cost of living will put your personal finances to test, for which you must be proactive. A saving, no matter how small, will always be a support for the family economy.
Do you have any suggestion or any tip on how to plan for Christmas and even the next year? Share your opinion in the comment section below