How to cope with Xmas expense
Christmas is coming and it is a little over 4 weeks away now, I had great plans to start early this year but like most that has gone the way of the dodo.
So how do we cope with the impending cost of it all. Lets face it as much as we say we will bring the cost down some how we think that spending loads on your loved ones equates to our love for them, we then end up stressing on the cost and forget what it is all about. This year we have been forced into a rethink due to the cost of the Oz trip. We need to save loads for tickets and spends in Australia and due to this the budget for christmas has been cut accordingly.
So how do you cope when the money is not around. Everyone has different circumstances, could be the loss of a job, not not having a job, means money is tight. What ever the case i have a few ideas on how to cope. One thing we started last week was picking up the christmas treats, sweets and food items, couple of bits at a time on each shop negates the large Xmas shop on christmas eve. My mum always does this last min massive shop and last year i helped her at 11pm xmas eve, NEVER again. The last 12 years we have gone away for xmas so we do a shop just before Xmas but as we are at home that will not happen.
Again this year like a lot of people I have to get from Dec 18th 2015 to Jan 27th that’s a near 6 weeks between pay days, if you’re like most of the population of the planet and not the 1% of the mega rich you live month to month that’s a long time between paydays. i need a plan to get to Feb with my head intact and money in the bank.
Budget and stick to it…
Have a look at what is free in the family budget, everyone is different I am by no means rich or anything close so we are on a tight budget. Between myself and the wife we have agreed a max spend on each other which is very modest. The rest of the budget is on the kids. Its all very easy to get pulled into kids dictating through adverts on TV what they want but we have a way of dealing with that situation “lets see what Santa brings“. We also tell them that while Santa brings the gifts we need to pay for them so the sky is not the limit. This means two important things are kept in mind at all times, 1) They have more respect for what they get – we work hard to pay for it, they must look after it. 2) They cannot get everything they see on TV, this promotes realistic expectations and avoids christmas morning disappointed when “X” present is not under the tree.
Put yourself last…
Xmas is about giving but let’s be honest we all get caught up thinking of ourselves at times. Its all too easy to get that new game or tech gadget or purse etc but that puts a dent in your budget. Stick to just giving to others and forget about you – You get it back ten fold in the long run.
Sales – Be very careful – The Impulse Purchase
So you make it to the other side of christmas and the sales start early, lets rush out and blow what’s lefts in the bank on that new TV thats reduced from €2000 to €1000 – that’s still €1000 your spending and can you really afford it. If you can cool, but stop and think. I have started putting a 5 day think window on any purchase with a simple question, Do I really need it? most of the time its a big fat NO and so it is not an impulse purchase. Its worked well so far.