The most awaited time of the year is approaching. Yes, Christmas and New Year are around the corner. You can't wait for the amazing parties, unforgettable holidays and never ending gifts that Christmas brings with it. Hey, wait a minute. You certainly deserve a grand Christmas but are you sure that your wallet can take it? Drop that anxious look on your face. There is no such thing as Christmas devoid of fun. We are just asking you to be a bit prudent because unwise spending during the holiday season can very well push you towards debt. You surely don't want to combat credit card debt and have sleepless nights right after Christmas. Here are some smart tips which would help you to strike a balance between money and fun this Christmas:
- Budgeting your Christmas: Alright, it is understandable that this sounds pretty scary. But budgeting is more of planning and being organized than being a miser. Firstly, you should make a list of expenses to have an idea about the kind of money you would need. If the total expenses turn out to be more than what you can afford then better make a slimmer list. For budgeting, you might use personal finance softwares available in the market. Many of them come for free and would make your task much easier.
- No credit cards this Christmas: The urge to spend becomes irresistible during Christmas. Social obligations are also there. But be determined that you are not going to buy on credit. You would be sorely tempted to buy what you cannot afford once credit cards come into play. Statistics have revealed that credit cards play the biggest role in pushing people towards debt. So this Christmas, let cash be your savior. Psychologically speaking, parting your cash hurts a lot more than paying through credit cards. Naturally, it would help you to spend according to your means.
- Home-made Gifts: It is just a myth that expensive gifts brought from high profile stores are the presents one can buy. Homemade gifts can be equally charming. What you gift can often be more important than the cost of the gift. Just try something creative which would pleasantly surprise the person for whom you are preparing the gift. The fact that you've prepared the present with yourself with add to the attraction of the gift. Some good self-prepared presents include baked cookies, preparing chocolates at home or hand-made woolen stuffs etc.
- Know when to hit the stores: To purchase gifts and decoration items you should hit the stores just a day or two after Christmas. This way you would be able to secure 50% -75% discount on the items. You can stock up these things and use it the next holiday season. Believe it or not, it is possible to get $3 Christmas mugs for .75 cents, a $50 100 piece ornament set for $5 at this time of the year. Go grab your decorations and presents for damn cheap.
An exquisite yet affordable Christmas tree This can be an expensive purchase especially if it's a live tree which is supposed to be planted in your garden. But you cannot do without a Christmas tree, can you? So you might consider settling for a small tree from a big store where the discount will possibly be the largest. Buy the tree as late as possible because the price goes down with time. Are you game for an artificial tree? If yes then this is the cheapest option available. Moreover, you can use that tree every year. Another great option is to make your own tree. Cut an overgrown tree and plant them somewhere-an ideal example of nice and frugal Christmas. Frugal trips during Christmas Are you contemplating a trip during the upcoming holidays? If yes, then you should hunt for bargains. You would find hotel chains or airlines companies offering discounts at this time of the year. Surf the internet to make a comparative study and find the best deals. Try to find unusual yet attractive destinations to experience a unique yet low cost vacation.
We part with our money most easily during the Christmas season. We feel like buying too many things and our will to resist is too weak. But remember that wise spending will not ruin your Christmas but make it more charming. Don't let the dark shadows of debt spoil your happiness. So remember what you've read and enjoy the holiday season.