Christmas is a great time of the year spent with friends and family, enjoying the festivities, and having fun. But it can also be a costly one, especially if you have children. While there’s nothing wrong with using a credit card if you need to, there are ways to help you have a debt free Christmas and avoid paying for it well into next year.
We have said it before and while it isn't the most exciting solution, the key to a debt free Christmas is to budget for everything – and stick to it. Parents in particular have the urge to go a bit nuts on their kids at Christmas and there’s nothing wrong with that but try to do it in a structured way. Look at what you can afford to spend, divide it up across the various areas such as presents, food and social events and work out what you can spend on who.
Save reward points
Many of the big supermarkets have reward points systems and you can save these up for Christmas to help with the cost of the food. Alternatively, some do swap systems, such as Tesco, where you can exchange £5 for £10 to spend in certain areas such as kids clothing.
Take control & know when to stop
Debt is a very personal issue and it can become increasingly difficult to talk about to those around you but it is better to take control than to stick your head in the sand. No one wants to be paying for Christmas presents long after the decorations have come down so for some people an IVA may enable them to get back in control of their money. It is imperative to get good advice from a company like Creditfix who have discrete and professional staff that work with individuals to find the best way to manage your debt problems.
Grab a bargain
Shopping early might seem like cheating but it is great way to get the bargains. Events such as Black Friday may seem hyper-commercial but there can be some good deals to get.
If you missed the bargains, all isn’t lost as you can still save money by shopping around, especially for the expensive items. Use comparison sites to look at the price across different stores and don’t forget online ones. Whenever I find something I like online, I then open a new tab and the website + voucher codes in the search bar and it is amazing what comes up, from free delivery codes to first order discounts.
Check voucher sites
Following on from searching for codes, voucher sites are big business and are available for more than just food. Check them out, sign up for emails and watch out for those discounts that are time sensitive or limited in number – you can save a serious amount of money with them.
Use credit card rewards
Likewise, some credit cards reward you for using them through the year so why not save up these rewards to use at Christmas and reduce the cost of the festive season.
Make handmade presents
Kids love to make things and family members love to receive things the kids have made. So why not use the excuse of cold, rainy days to make some handmade presents and save a bit of cash? Small kits like friendship bracelets are also great for their school friends.
Send photos as presents
Family or fun photos of the kids are a great present, especially for family who live away from you and don't get to see your children growing up day by day. Picture frames are inexpensive and can be decorated by the kids to add to the personalisation.
So while Christmas may be the season of giving, it is also a time to remember that being festive doesn't have to be expensive too.
Do you have any money saving tips to add to this list?