Christmas isn't exactly a time of year we associate with saving money in our everyday lives, is it? But should it really be the spend-a-thon that it is during times of recession?
Sure, the high street and online retailers might be relying on Christmas for a boost to their takings
--and for those who manage to garner part-time seasonal work, Christmas is surely a boon. It also helps to bolster our faltering economies, at least in the short-term, as we spend money like mad, buying presents and gifts for loved ones, friends and family. But where is the "extra" money coming from. Adopt a strategy to deal with Christmas spending is my advice, according to your
In years gone by, people used to go without stuff for 10 or 11 months of the year, often saving small amounts in a jar (the ol' cookie jar!), in with freidns in a "Christmas Club", or just simply putting
a little aside each week to cover the extra expense of Christmas.
These days, well, things are different, and the way of it seems to be "shove it on the credit card--lets eat, drink and be merry for now, and worry about it later". This is FINE, so long as you have a great credit card deal (0% is good!) and you know you can easily pay it back later.
Our advice is: watch for the danger signs! As always, if you are borrowing money with no hope of paying it back quickly and easily, this can be the biggest danger sign of all.
Avoiding the Christmas Debt Trap by Planning Ahead
Simply plan for Christmas -- after all, it comes at the same time each year! Rather than getting to December and having to borrow money, you could be in a position, next year, where you have saved enough NOT for it to be a worry next time!
Looking at the <bad> ways to borrow money for Christmas, some of which I have highlighted above, its not diffiicult to see just why they are bad. Some, like the overdraft facility I mentioned, may carry a fee AS WELL as a high interest rate! Typically, also, loans secured on your property are at a high interest rate also, and are therefore expensive to pay back.
General advice and tips for your spending at Christmas:
In order to keep a grip on our finances, especially at this time of "plenty" -- we really do have to be realistic. This doesn't mean feeling hungry and sitting in an unheated home, however. But what I do advocate is that a careful planning and budgeting strategy be applied to Christmas.
I'll finish this article with a set of points -- can you apply them to your Christmas spending habits to avoid the Christmas debt trap?
Don't get trapped by the Christmas frenzy of spend, spend, spend this year. Use this guide to think wisely about your money this season.