02 Dec Four Ways to Reduce the Financial Costs of Christmas.
There can be a lot of pressure during the Christmas period to spend, spend, spend. For those struggling financially, this can cause a lot of stress and worry.
The good news is that a fun-filled Christmas does not necessarily need to be an expensive one. These tips from Vida will help you reduce financial stress, without making your Christmas any less special.
1. Make a Realistic Budget in Advance and Stick to it.
This will need to cover presents, groceries, decorations, a Christmas tree, get-aways, etc.
2. Reduce the Cost of Buying Presents.
- Decide a present price limit with your family and ask everyone to stick to it.
- Buy presents for children only
- Organise Kris Kringle, where everyone only buys a present for one adult and one child in the group.
- Gift your time! You could offer to babysit, bake a birthday cake, walk the dog, pick off/drop off children to school. You can tailor this gift to suit your skills and the needs of your gift receiver and might even like to make and give vouchers so they have something to open.
- Put hampers together with home-cooked treats made by you. This is often a much appreciated gift and your hamper could include shortbread, almond meringues, chocolate truffles, and gingerbread.
- Plan presents to buy: this will save time and minimise the chances of impulse buying (and spending more).
- Check out the post-Christmas sales, as these can be a great place to buy presents for next year. Or plan ahead and buy you gifts in the black Friday sales (they usually happen around the beginning of December).
3. Reduce the cost of Hosting Christmas Lunch/ Dinner:
Ask guests to bring a dish each. This reduces the cost and stress of catering for everyone.
4. Get Organise and Start Planning for Next Christmas:
Record how much your Christmas related expenses cost this year. This will allow you to identify unnecessary expenses or items you could have spent less on. Over the next 12 months, put away a percentage of this amount each month (or week), and do not touch this money until next Christmas.
Are you Struggling Financially?
There are agencies that can help with food parcels, hampers, meals and even presents for children. Your local council will be able to put you in touch with these agencies, which include Salvation Army, St Vincent De Paul, various soup kitchens and local Community Health services.
You are not alone if the societal, social and financial pressures of this time of year leave you feeling overwhelmed. Speaking to a psychologist may help take the weight off your shoulders, and the good news is that Vida is open throughout the Christmas period. Please give us a call today on 03 9328 3636 if you would like to make an appointment.