December – how to make it work!

Christmas has become a month-long celebration these days and not only are there many people to buy for but there are now even more opportunities to spend money. So how on earth do you survive the silly season without breaking the bank? Here are a few tips that you can try out.

Plan your diary: the month of December fills up fairly fast with lots of activities to attend. The office Christmas party and then the countless other drinks and catch ups can all take their toll on your already busy schedule. Often there is a cost associated with attending events. Decide what you really want to attend and set aside the money to do this. Create a surplus amount that you are happy to allocate toward ‘fun’ and then assess each invitation as it comes in and decide if you want to go and if you have the funds. Remember, it is ok to say NO. Both your time and your money are valuable resources and we need to wisely invest them.

Make a list and check it twice: We can get caught up when we go shopping thinking that you see things that will make great presents, only for them to sit in your cupboard because you changed your mind. If you shop with a well thought out list you can avoid impulse buys that both you and the recipient will probably be disappointed with.

Get creative: if you have set the intention to spend some more time with your children, then making presents can be a terrific opportunity to do this. Roll them all in to one. Depending on what your skills are and where your interests lie, homemade gifts can offer a really unique present. There are a million websites offering suggestions and ideas from baking to cooking to arts and crafts. All of these options will typically save you money as well as a visit to the shops.

Spread the love (and the cost): many of us feel obliged to put on a huge spread for Christmas Day and this can put our grocery budget under immense pressure. Don’t feel like you have to do everything yourself. It is ok to ask for help. You don’t have to ask everyone and you can ask different things according to people’s own talents and resources. Breaking up the main meal and other items can not only spread the cost but also reduce the pressure put on a single person to deliver on Christmas Day.