Christmas is always a lot of fun, but it can cause signifiant stress to those having to fund it. We’re under so much pressure to create a magical day for our families, but it’s important to go about things in the right way. Here’s how you can enjoy the festive season, without getting into trouble financially.

Pay your bills as usual

At this time of year, it’s tempting to spend your bill money on things for Christmas, with the idea that you’ll catch up again in January. One piece of advice- don’t do it. Catching up in January is never any fun, and could throw off your budget for months on end. Worst case scenario you could fall into arrears, end up in debt and have to pay interest on top of what you owe. Always pay your essential bills first, and get what you need for Christmas only with what’s left.

Don’t be tempted by credit

Credit can be so tempting, a loan, credit or store card which gives you money right now to spend on what you want and need. But it’s not worth it, again your budget will be thrown off all next year and you’ll end up in a far worse position. Use savings if you need to (and if you have them) but don’t rack up debt in the name of Christmas. You can still find ways to make it special without it costing a fortune.

Make some extra money

Any extra money you can get your hands on at this time of year will come in useful. Maybe you could do an extra shift at work, or do some freelancing from home. This site has plenty more ideas for ways you can make money fast. You could sell what you no longer need, this clears space for new things coming in and could raise some money too.

Save money on gifts

There are lots of ways you can save money on gifts, one is to run a secret santa. That way instead of buying gifts for a whole group of family members or work colleagues for example, you only need to buy one. You could set a price limit, and you all get to buy a gift and recieve something too. Check out bargain and discount stores as well as eBay, places like supermarkets have cheap stocking fillers and token presents. You could look in charity shops for bargains, or even make your own Christmas gifts.

Find cheap and free things to do

Christmas isn’t just about the day itself, but enjoying the festivities throughout December. And there are plenty of ways you can do this without breaking the bank. You could take a walk or a drive around your neighbourhood looking at the Christmas lights, many families make a tradition of this. You could buy some basic baking ingredients and some Christmas decorations and do some festive baking with the kids. You could have family movie days with blankets and hot chocolate, or build a snowman if it starts to snow. Do some planning ahead of time, come up with ways that you can keep the family entertained without having to constantly reach into your wallet.

Greg Kononenko
Greg Kononenko

My name is Greg Kononenko and I am a full-time online blogger and owner of Dad's Hustle. I'm a dad, and my passion is to help other mums and dads to start their own "hustle" and improve the financial future of their families.

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