Do you have a lot of expenses already planned for the festive period this month? Chances are that between buying gifts for family and friends, appreciating your customers, travelling or hosting a Christmas party, you have a long list of things that require you to spend more money than usual this month.
The money-savvy person may have budgeted for these extra expenses in advance, while other people may need to dip into their savings. Either way or regardless of how long your shopping list is, you can get away with spending less than you expected.
If you have been looking for more ways to reduce your spending for Christmas, the tips below can help.
Make a list and stick to it
Few things hurt people’s finances like impulse spending. You went to the mall to pick up an item, but came out with a trolley-full of things you did not plan to buy, but felt that you needed. If you really needed them when you set out for the mall, you would have planned to buy them.
If you are really interested in reducing your spending for Christmas, make a list of everything you need to buy. This includes the gifts, the food, decorations, home essentials, travel tickets, etc. Also include services that will need to be outsourced, so that you can budget for them too.
A list also helps you have a clear plan. Once you have all these written down, you are even better able to decide which one is necessary. Let the list be your guide when shopping, and you will save yourself from unnecessary spending.
This is the season of sales and discounts. Retailers are trying to get people to buy as much as possible. There is the possibility that things on your list are priced differently with each shop. If you can help it, it is a good idea to compare prices of an item before buying it. You don’t want to find out that something cost half the price somewhere else, after you have bought it.
It’s almost never a good idea to wait till the last minute before shopping for things on your Christmas list. Granted, a lot of shops crash prices on their items on Christmas Eve, to push them out, but this is also the time that things get more expensive. Retailers know that you need these items for Christmas celebration, and except they are perishable goods or Christmas decorations, retailers will increase the prices to cash in on the high demand.
Do you have decorations from last year still in storage? There is no point buying a new set if those ones are still in good condition. One thing that makes people spend more money is buying things just because they are new. In the spirit of the festival period, and with sales adverts flying around, don’t get tempted to buy something you already have at home, just because it is new, or of a different design. In the end, you will be spending more money than necessary.
Use cash, not credit
Using cash or debit cards is spending money that you have now, without going into debt. Credit on the other hand, especially credit cards, will only leave you with debt to repay long after Christmas has gone. An important rule for managing your personal finance and saving money, is to never buy things on credit if they are not an absolute need.
Spending money that you have in hand is a good way to help you stay on track with your Christmas list. If you know that the money you have is all that is available for your Christmas expenses, you stand a better chance of budgeting in a better way.
Do you have any money-saving tips for Christmas? Join the conversation with us on Twitter (@CRCCreditBureau), or Facebook (CRC Credit Bureau Limited).