Top Christmas budgeting tips
The time for giving and receiving can unfortunately sometimes become a tad awkward when it comes to money. Of course, everyone has a different view of generosity and completely different budgets to work with so not all members of your family may see eye to eye on yuletide expenditure.
We’ve got five tips to try that could take the awkwardness down a notch between family and friends this festive season.
1. Get funds. Buy gift.
Not the other way around. If there’s a plan to club together to buy a special person a larger gift, don’t shell out until you’ve received the money from each person towards the gift.
This way, the person who’s fronting the cost for the gift won’t be out of pocket whilst waiting for the IOUs to arrive back into their bank account. The awkwardness of chasing money that you’re owed from a friend or family member is instantly dismissed and the magic of the group present is back!
2. Secret Santa
The age old tradition of the mystery gift giving game doesn’t have to stop at £5 joke presents and office parties. Roll it out to your family and close friends for added fun, lower budgets and no awkwardness over who’s spent what on which person.
Get your group together, explain the fact that you'd like to spend less this year and don't expect multiple gifts in return. Set your budget, swap wish lists and pull a name out of a hat. This way, everyone receives a gift from their list they'll actually want and you all stick to a budget. No overdrafts or unwanted gifts. Sounds like a win-win to us.
3. Lay down the ground rules
If gifting can get out of control over Christmas with extended families, partners, cousins and even more, put a stop to it before it starts to run away with itself! Let your family and friends know how who you're planning to buy (or not to buy) gifts for this year and explain that you don't expect them in return.
Gifting to excess is a surefire way to spending more than you originally wanted to but setting boundaries before December hits can be a great way to contain the cost. We bet your cousin's boyfriend won't miss that tenner in a card or toiletries gift set he didn't ask for. Plus, you save time shopping for and wrapping those extra gifts.
4. Skip the round
For festive nights out and party situations, avoid buying rounds if you're wanting to budget your cash. This is super simple and stops you shelling out for your best mate's fancy cocktail when you're on the soft drinks and vice versa. Simply tell your pals in a relaxed way that you're not in for the rounds on the night out. Then, stick to your personal budget for your own drinks.
5. Budget for NYE
If you're planning to party on New Year's Eve - try to pop some cash away for it from November and December pay days. This way you won't start January, and a fresh year, already in the red. This is a surefire way to kick off the new year in a money slump. Then, if you end up not going out too - you've got the makings of your next year's savings pot!
The moral of the budgeting story for the festive season is to be sure that you know what you have to spend, don't overspend where you can't afford it and be open and honest with your friends and family about what you can afford. Read our top 10 last minute Christmas tips guide for some extra money-saving hacks for gifting.
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