Budget Friendly Festive Tips

Christmas seems to creep up earlier every year with adverts and shops stocking all the Christmas bits and bobs before we have even managed to get Halloween out the way. Instead of getting stressed we see this as an opportunity to get organised and take time planning (and spreading the cost).
We have many ideas to help reduce the financial stress and prevent starting the new decade in debt.  These hints and tips don’t apply solely to Christmas, they will cover whatever festivities you personally celebrate. 
Set a Budget

Setting a spend limit on each person.  At this time of year costs can soar so if you complete a Personal Monthly Budget a couple of months in advance you can see where you can cut costs elsewhere in order to make up for any shortfall that Christmas may make in your budget.  If you can go into January without debt it certainly helps start the New Year (and New Decade) off to a positive start.  If you sign up the Heritable mailing list you will get a free download for a Personal Monthly Budget Planner that you can tailor to your specific circumstances.

Make a List

It’s never too early to start a list.  We love lists and spreadsheets here, but for good reason – they really help us stay organised.  If you are not a spreadsheet kind of person, fear not, a quick list is just as effective.  Start early – write a list of who you need to buy for and then add gift ideas as you are going along.  An advantage of starting early is that you can spread the cost as well rather than over-stretching your December budget.

Reduce

We are all on a mission to reduce waste and Christmas (or any time of year that you have an event/ celebration) is a great time to put that into practice.  Number one is reduce or completely cut out unnecessary gifts –  we personally know that Santa can be guilty of unnecessary stocking fillers – this is the time to think about whether something is really needed/ wanted.  Also, if you are buying for kids, there is handy rule that we intend to follow this year: a WANT, a NEED, a READ and a WEAR.    

Track Your Spending

Remember – a budget only works if you track your spending.  It will take away from the stress of wondering whether you can afford something or not.  Create the budget and stick to it and keep track of spending as you go through the month.

DIY

DIY gifts can be fantastic, but they are something you can’t leave until the last minute so plan what you want to do and when you should do it.  This also is a great help for spreading the cost and reducing the last-minute panic.   DIY gifts can be handy for supplementing someone’s present.  Every year we give the teachers DIY gifts, some of the things we have made are chutney, bath salts, candles and mini terrariums. 

I hope that you have found these pointers useful – if you have any questions or want to get in touch with us about your financial situation please email Cameron.mccallum@heritableltd.co.uk or call us on 0131 557 6778.