NOW that August is almost done, it’s time to think about our Christmas preparations.
While the festive season reminds us of the importance of being together, it can also lead to financial stress if not approached with careful planning.
This year let’s create a memorable Christmas without worrying about a debt hangover.
For a quick example we’ll use a family of four. They want to make Christmas special for everyone, with gifts, and a great Christmas lunch.
Mum and Dad have talked about it, and they’ve set a $200 gift limit per person.
With two adults and two kids that’s a total of $800 dedicated to presents. Adding in $250 for extra groceries (on top of normal spending) for a terrific Christmas lunch and other goodies during the Christmas break, we have a budget of $1,050.
The family also has a tradition of buying gifts for their parents and their siblings.
Both adults have two parents, each with a $50 gift limit, and one adult has an older sister, while the other has a younger brother and sister, all with $50 gift limits.
This brings the total additional gifting budget to $350.
The Savings Game
Now, the exciting part. How much to save each week from the first week in September to the end of November to bring the Christmas magic to life.
Starting from next week and up to the end of November, that’s approximately 13 weeks.
To cover the $1,050 budget for gifts and extra groceries, our family needs to save around $80 per week.
The extra gifting budget of $350 requires about $27 per week. Round the total up to $110 per week and you can make it happen.
Tips to conquer spending
Start Now: The earlier you begin saving, the less stress you’ll feel as December approaches. Even small weekly contributions add up over time. Your situation is probably different from the example above, so adjust the figures to make it work.
Gift Pooling: Collaborate with siblings or extended family for joint gifts.
Pooling resources can lead to more significant and meaningful presents. As a further idea, people often love the fun of Secret Santa, and it reduces the number of gifts exchanged, making each one more special.
Shop Smart: Keep an eye out for sales and discounts as Christmas approaches.
With a clear plan, thoughtful strategies, and making your Christmas debt-free is entirely achievable.