While the festive season is a magical time, it can also be an expensive and stressful one. Thus, it’s important to keep track of what you spend your money on and to avoid the urge to overspend. The good news is that this year you can enjoy the festive season without the stress of overspending with the following 5 tips on budgeting:
- Create a budget plan – This should be the first thing you do before you start spending your money on festivities. Allocate a limit on how much you’re going to spend on gifts, groceries, and on celebratory outings with family or friends. It’s important that you make a realistic budget that can be abided to. You can even download a budget-friendly application to help you create an easy budget plan.
- Make sure to track the money you’re spending – Be aware that whenever you’re going to spend you are sticking to the budget assigned and not overspending. You can be easily tempted to overspend but if you keep in mind the budget you’ve already set, and how much you’ve spent from it, then you can make sure not to go over the budget.
- Buy your Christmas presents early – Keep an eye out for sales, as well as for Black Friday instead of waiting for the last minute to buy your Christmas presents. It would be even better if you’re mindful of your present giving list throughout the year as you have more opportunities for sales. However, with Black Friday so soon you’re still in time.
- Learn to say ‘no’ – If someone asks you to go to dinner but you haven’t accounted for that meal then feel free to tell them that you can’t make it. Don’t stress yourself by feeling the need to agree to all the festive outings your friends or family tell you about. Instead, be aware of your limits. Even if someone wants to do a gift exchange that you feel is extra, then tell them ‘no’.
- Set up a festive fund – Set a goal amount, at the beginning of the year, that you would like to save up for the festive times. Divide that amount by the number of months leading up to the festive season and then that’s how much you have to save each month. This way, you won’t overwhelm yourself when the time arrives to start spending.
The festivities should be a time where we unwind and celebrate with our loved ones, but instead we tend to stress about all our expenses. Thus, use any of the above tips to start having stress free festive seasons and making the most of them.
Mandy Brincat is a Gestalt psychotherapist who enjoys working therapeutically with adults on various issues. These include general mental health and wellbeing. She also has experience working with anxiety, victims of domestic violence and eating disorders.
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
- Morgan, K. (2023, September 19). Christmas on a budget: top tips, statistics & alternatives. unbiased.co.uk. https://www.unbiased.co.uk/discover/personal-finance/budgeting/christmas-on-a-budget-top-tips-statistics-alternatives
- Ramsey Solutions. (2022, November 4). 25 Tips to Save Money This Christmas. https://www.ramseysolutions.com/budgeting/tips-to-save-money-on-christmas
- How To Create A Christmas Budget | Guides – HSBC UK. (n.d.). HSBC UK – Personal & Online Banking. https://www.hsbc.co.uk/financial-fitness/how-to-create-a-christmas-budget/