For some of us, it does feel like this, with the pressures of this time of year and our pockets. Family descending on you for the perfect Christmas 2022, increasing ever-rising fuel bills. Queues in all the shops; rail strikes stopping you from getting to work and being able to afford the weekly food shop. Overall the cost of living and inflation this year is causing a headache for everyone.
The best way to survive this year’s financial cost of living crises is to plan ahead this Christmas.
Yes, make a list. Sounds simple but can be very hard to do. Children can have long lists of things they want off Santa, not all of which are practical or affordable. As much as you never want to disappoint, prioritising what is affordable should be top of the list. Putting yourself into debt for a few moments of joy on Christmas Day could cause major headaches in a few months.
Knowing beforehand what you are going to buy everyone, will help reduce impulse buying and spending more than you intended.
They are everywhere and when planning, shop around. Do not go to the first place you see something if you know it is sold elsewhere. If it is an electrical item, a lot of stores will price match, so don’t be afraid of asking. Use comparison tools online and also look at websites that offer cashback.
However, don’t be sucked into the 3 for 2 offers or BOGOF offers. They are a great idea, only if it is something you want and need. How many times have you seen a 3 for 2 offer in Boots or Sainsburys, spending more than you intended and getting that third free item.
The giving of a gift at Christmas is not about how much you have spent on someone, but the thought that you gave with the gift. It is famously known that Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge once gave Queen Elizabeth II a jar of homemade pickle.
According to nationaldebtadvice.org.uk, 34% of us will put our Christmas expenditure on credit cards and loans. So long as it is affordable for you to repay, using borrowing can help your cash flow at this time of year.
Before committing to that purchase on credit, look at all your options, including how much it will really cost once you have paid back the borrowing with the interest. The first repayment may be due before your January pay, and with the expense of December, will you be able to pay this?
The cost of living is not set to come down any time soon; this year take a more frugal approach. Christmas is not about how much you can spend, but about being with family and friends.