It’s hardly surprising that so many parents dread Christmas. Yes, there’s a big dinner, a beautiful Christmas tree and copious amounts of port and red wine. There’s also at least a couple of hundred pounds worth of Christmas presents to be bought and wrapped. Being a parent at Christmas can be extremely difficult, so difficult that it makes the festive period a bit of a drag for many people.
Yet, it doesn’t have to be this way. According to the experts at ClubThrifty.com, Christmas doesn’t have to be something that you start to dread as soon as September rolls around. It’s always going to be an expensive time, but there are things that you can do to help allay the financial burden. You don’t have to be a Christmas prisoner any longer. It’s time to get your finances in order. There’s plenty of time left before the countdown ends.
Setting a Realistic Budget
This can be a very hard step for parents to take, especially if they’ve got children who want the latest technological gadgets. You’ve got to keep your eye on the bigger picture – if you can’t pay your bills, those children won’t have anywhere to live. It’s going to be tough to say no to expensive wish lists, but it is the very best thing that you can do. If you know that you can’t afford a certain present, there is no reason for you to simply buy it anyway, say the experts at Money.co.uk. Remember – the kids might not understand now, but they’ll get it when they’re older and it’s their turn to spend a fortune at Christmas.
Clearing Out The Debris
Post Christmas, most parents spent the best part of a year surrounded by gadgets and toys that presumably lost their allure after two weeks of use, says NetMums.com. If your house is filled to the brim with stuff that you just don’t need or use, why not take some of it down to a pawnbrokers or an exchange store? There are plenty of them about – they buy DVDs, CDs, video games, iPods, laptop computers and much more. Companies like Cash In Hand Pawnbrokers have a wholly inaccurate reputation for being unreliable. In fact, they’re one of the most trustworthy sources of fast cash on the market.
Doing It Yourself
There are a hundred of one different ways to cut the cost of Christmas. One of the very best involves you, your children and your combined imaginations. Sit down with your kids and discuss all of the things that you can create yourself this festive period – decorations, Christmas cards, wrapping paper. Not only will it be lots of fun, it’ll look a lot more special too. Don’t buy expensive handmade Christmas cards from the store, if you can hand make your own. Avoid pricey paper decorations – buy some glitter glue, stencils and paint and make your own. Honestly, the kids will go nuts for it.
If you’ve always found it hard to foot the bill at Christmas time, make sure that you’ve got the money in place to pay for it this year. One of the very best ways to do this is with a separate savings account – try to put at least twenty pounds in this account every week. If you start this in August and finish at the end of November, you’ll have around £360 by the end of the year. It can be tempting to dip into this savings account from time to time, but you should do your very best to avoid it.