Everyone loves Christmas when they’re a kid. When adulthood and its many responsibilities strike, suddenly Christmas becomes less of a thing to look forward to and more of a thing of dread. All the gifts! All the food! Not to mention the tree! On top of rent and council tax and bills the season can be too much for some – January blues arriving accompanied by crippling debt. However, this shouldn’t have to be the case. There is a way to recapture that childhood magic. Here is how:
Don’t be the host
Hosting Christmas is a big cost as you are solely in supply of all the food and wine. If you’ve hit hard times, tell a friend or relative and they may let you share their Christmas with them. Most people are kind and generous and don’t like to see someone else struggling around this time of year. You may have to chip in some money, but it will be a lot less than what you might have had to spend were you to go at it alone – especially the case if you’re providing for kids.
Buy joint gifts
You shouldn’t be guilt-tripped into buying gifts for everyone at Christmas, just because they sent you one last year. Prioritise the people that are most special to you. For the rest, a personalised card might be all you need. Buy joint gifts where possible. You and a sibling might be able to both provide a present to your dad, instead of both buying presents. Focus on thoughtful and funny gifts rather than valuable gifts.
Consider things that you spend money on and cut back on them during the Christmas period. Cut down on activities such as going out at the weekends – it’s too cold this time of year anyway. Instead spend the weekend making DIY Christmas decorations with the kids such as snowflake and card decorations. Stop buying the kids treats – they have Christmas round the corner. If you have a car, drive less often so spend less petrol.
Consider a loan
If you’re able to get by the rest of the year and Christmas is the one hurdle that continuously catches you out, you may wish to consider a loan that you can gradually pay back over the next year. Several companies offer personal unsecured loans that can prevent you overspending.
Start preparing early
Although this advice is a little late now, preparing early for Christmas will allow you to spend in intervals, instead of it all hitting you in one month. Some people buy presents in the January sales. I recommend waiting until September, so that you have more of a solid idea as to what people might want. Leave only food and last minute decorations to December.