Christmas – and the costs that come with it – always come around far too quickly. However, with a little forward thinking it’s easy to ensure that you can make it as affordable as possible for next time. Here at Debt Advisory Services (Scotland) we’ve put together five tips for those looking to be more prepared.
1. Start saving now
It’s never too early to save for next Christmas – even Boxing Day is a good time to start. Challenge yourself to set aside the same small amount of money each week – it will soon build up.
2. Shop in the sales
Shopping will probably be the last thing on your mind on December 26th, but the Boxing Day sales are a great time to start shopping for presents for next year. Make a list of who you’ll need to buy for, and update the list when you find suitable gifts, to make sure you keep track of what you’ve bought. Sales shopping is also perfect for wrapping paper, decorations, Christmas cards and other essentials.
3. Opt for homemade gifts
Homemade gifts can be a lovely personal way to celebrate Christmas: think jams, biscuits, truffles…even homemade candles and bath salts. There are plenty of tutorials online to help you to get started.
4. Limit gift numbers
If you’re guilty of over-buying for children or other relatives, it’s time to cut back. Buy just a small number of well thought out gifts for each person – and if you have a large extended family, it may be worth agreeing with other family members to limit who buys for who.
5. Buy and freeze food throughout the year
Certain elements of the Christmas feast can be bought earlier on in the year, rather than leaving it all until the last minute. Buy packet stuffing, cranberry sauce and frozen goods when they’re on offer, and spread the cost throughout the year.
Christmas is an expensive time of year, but there are certainly ways of making it easier without getting into debt. If you’re concerned about debts from Christmases gone by, contact us.