The holiday season is upon us and with it comes some fun and time to relax. However, this is also the time when most of us are tempted to spend more on food, gifts, travel, parties and entertainment. We all know how easy it is to get caught up in the holiday spirit, which is as exciting as it is expensive. As a result, it’s just as easy to find yourself with a hole in your pocket in January and, while it’s important to enjoy yourself, you also want to avoid any unnecessary stress.
I have decided to offer you some useful tips on how to survive the Christmas crunch. We want you to have a wonderful holiday season, but we also want you to start the New Year in a good financial position.
Reduce Your Expenses This Holiday Season
The important thing to remember here is that you can still enjoy the holiday season. Reducing your expenses doesn’t mean that you can’t have just as much fun as you’ve had before. It simply means that you’ll have more money in your pocket at the start of the New Year, which is a gift to yourself.
Besides, if you’re worried or stressed about money, then you’re not going to enjoy the holiday season as much as you should. Sometimes less is more and while people may not remember what you gave them, they will remember an experience or special moment that you shared. It’s often the simple pleasures that count, which means that you don’t actually have to spend all that much to enjoy the holiday season.
The best way to prepare for the holiday season is to plan ahead. Planning ahead is a great way to save money, as it gives you more time to budget, shop around and find discounts and special offer can often obtain good deals before the official holiday season starts and the shops become crowded.
Ideally, you should start planning as far ahead as possible, especially if you’re going away on holiday. A good way to plan is to make a list of all the bookings you need to make, gifts you have to buy, parties you will be hosting and attending and any other holiday expenses that you’ll have to pay for. By making a list you can prevent overspending, stop impulsive buying, reduce the number of times you have to go to the shops and just generally save time and money.
And, if it’s too late to plan ahead for some things, then try to keep this in mind for next year, so you can get a head start on the holiday season
If you’re going away these holidays hopefully you have already planned ahead. However, if you haven’t, then don’t stress. If you’re willing to be flexible about your travel dates and to take the time to compare prices and options, then you could possibly still find some good deals.
Alternatively, you could use your accumulated airline miles or other reward points to pay for some of your travel expenses. If you are planning to drive somewhere, you might want to consider finding a friend or relative who can drive with you and split the costs. Or, perhaps, you could stay with family or friends, which means you won’t have to pay for accommodation.
On the other hand, you could always stay at home this year and enjoy some downtime with your family and friends who have decided to do the same. In this case, you could use some of the money, which you would have spent on your holiday, to make things a little extra special at home, while saving the rest for next year.
If you are going to host parties, dinners or other functions, then it’s important to do some planning if you don’t want to waste money. Entertaining can be expensive, so make sure you carefully consider your menu and try to provide food that is tasty, but doesn’t cost too much. You don’t always have to buy the most expensive food to provide a good meal.
Also remember to ensure that you have plenty of space in your fridge and freezer, so that any leftovers won’t go to waste. If you normally buy ready-made meals or hire a caterer, then why not try doing some home cooking this year? Or, you could ask your friends and family to each bring a certain dish and then you won’t have to provide the entire meal. If you usually host a number of gatherings, why not opt for one really memorable get-together. Or, you could consider going out to eat at a good, but inexpensive restaurant where your friends and relatives all pay for themselves.
A little planning and budgeting can help you to keep your finances in order this holiday season and have a very happy, stress-free New Year.