FINANCES : Christmas Budget

Christmas holidays become expensive year after year. We want to give more gifts, shop more things for our families and loved ones and make merry. Thus Christmas, as much as it is the most anticipated time of the year, is also the most financially damaging time of the year, especially if not well prepared for. Besides, after Christmas comes January when parents are looking for every coin or note in order to pay their children’s school fees. It is important that you plan your Christmas expenditures well in advance.

Christmas holidays become expensive year after year. We want to give more gifts, shop more things for our families and loved ones and make merry.

Thus Christmas, as much as it is the most anticipated time of the year, is also the most financially damaging time of the year, especially if not well prepared for.

Besides, after Christmas comes January when parents are looking for every coin or note in order to pay their children’s school fees. It is important that you plan your Christmas expenditures well in advance.

For starters, don’t use your savings for Christmas expenses. Savings should be used for set financial goals, not to plug the holiday expenditure. You should begin to plan for holiday expenditure early enough.

Some employed individuals plan for the December salary which usually comes before 25th for their expenditures. They forget that their January expenses are not going to just go away because there is Christmas to celebrate.

You still have to pay your bills like electricity, water and rent. Since Christmas expenditure is above your normal monthly expenses, you need to save money for it.

One way is setting up a Christmas fund for three or four months before your normal income so as to reduce the damage done to your December budget.

If you plan to give gifts to family, consider purchasing some of them in October and November to reduce your December expenses. Plan for these gifts before and avoid walking into a shop to buy ‘anything’ (remember impulse buying).

Remember that as much as Christmas is the most popular religious festival in the Christian religion it is also the commercial peak of annual business. This month all business will play on your Christmas affinities by displaying a Father Christmas and playing sentimental Christmas songs all day.

That way, your purse strings loosen and you begin to spend because everybody is spending, just for the sake of it. It is a good salesman’s age-old trick to cash in on you.

To avoid Christmas blues and a subsequent cash crunch in January, make a Christmas budget which is within your means, save up for it before December and stick to it during the holiday season.

Some people want to spend on Christmas as if they will never have or have never had one in their lives. So just you know, December 25th is an annual fixture and it is not going away any soon.

So you are better off, enjoying the holiday without leaving yourself with debts for which you will have to borrow from others or from your future January, February and god forbid, March salaries of the following year.

Lastly do not buy something just because there is a Christmas promotion. If you have been saving to buy a television, Christmas might be a good time because of the discounts, but don’t decide to buy everything because it is cheap, because after all you cannot really afford it.

Hopefully, this advice will come in handy as Christmas is just around the corner.

kelviod@yahoo.com

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