How To Avoid Debt This Christmas. In today’s blog post I’ll be sharing 10 practical things you can do to help you achieve your goal.
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How To Avoid Debt This Christmas
Research shows that the average British adult spends £548 on Christmas presents each year. This figure doesn’t even take into account all the additional Christmas costs like decorations, food and travel. It’s safe to say, if not prepared, Christmas can be a real budget buster.
Well, the countdown to Christmas has begun. It’s time to get ready for the festive season and do your best to avoid debt this Christmas. If you’re in debt and want help paying it off, I have great news for you. ilumoni are giving one lucky winner the chance to receive £2,033 cash to take the pressure off this Christmas. What’s more, the lucky winner will also receive 5 free money coaching sessions with yours truly.
If you want to know how to avoid debt this Christmas, you’ve come to the right place. In today’s blog post I’ll be sharing 10 practical things you can do to help you achieve your goal. I also recorded a video sharing how to have a debt-free Christmas which gives you a practical 5-step plan to follow which will also help.
1. If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail
In the words of Benjamin Franklin, if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. Do you have a plan for Christmas? Do you know who you’ll be buying Christmas gifts for this year, or what you’ll be buying and from where?
If you’re not clear on exactly what you want to buy, where you want to buy it from, and the prices of these items, then you’ll end up spending way more than anticipated.
2. Create a Christmas budget
Christmas is a special time of year for many families, however, it’s not worth getting into debt to pay for it. If you have not prepared financially for this Christmas, work with what you do have, and start planning for next Christmas from January.
This Christmas though, you need to set a realistic budget. How much can you afford to spend this Christmas? Start with that figure and plan accordingly. Ordinarily, you may buy gifts for your partner, their partners, kids, grandparents, dog, etc – well the dog may be a bit far fetched actually, but you get the point.
If you ordinarily buy for everyone, this year scale it back to whatever the budget permits. That’s what I do. I set my £300 Christmas budget and work with what I can afford. Watch my 2020 Christmas budget walkthrough to see my allocations for inspiration.
3. Remember tomorrow
Christmas is only one day out of the year. Don’t get carried away spending money this Christmas that you can’t afford to part with, only to regret it as we enter into the new year.
From rent and mortgage to gas and electricity, all these expenses still need to be covered so keep this at the front of mind when you’re doing your Christmas shopping.
4. Use price comparison websites
Don’t just purchase the item you need from the first shop or website you visit. Use price comparison websites like PriceRunner and idealo to compare gift prices to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your bucks.
Note that these websites won’t have every product from every retailer listed, so it’s important you do your own research too. Sure it may take a little more time, but the money saved will be worth it.
5. Don’t sign up for any store cards
I mentioned the dangers of store cards in a recent post where I shared 12 mistakes to avoid making on Black Friday. When shopping this Christmas, avoid falling for the temptation of taking out store cards, on the promise of a larger discount on your purchase.
If you’re not good with credit, this is a big trap. The money saved through the additional discount as a reward for taking out the storecard can be quickly lost as you start making unnecessary extra purchases using this newly acquired credit.
6. The gift of time
The best things in life are free – at least that’s what the song says! That’s debatable I guess. But you can’t deny there is truth in this statement. What’s more important than money? I would say time. Instead of buying lots of stuff, give your loved ones the gift of time. This article has 39 totally free gift ideas for you to check out for some creative inspiration.
7. Handmade with love
When was the last time you tried your hand at a little DIY? Think outside of the box, get creative and make your own Christmas presents. You can bake your own cookies, make your own hampers, or even make your own hot chocolate jars. The fact that it’s handmade with love will make it extra special and the recipient would probably appreciate it that little bit more.
8. Buy safe to be safe
If an offer sounds too good to be true, it’s usually just that – too good to be true. Yes you want to save money on Christmas presents this year to avoid debt, but there are some lengths you should refrain from going to in order to achieve your desired outcome.
This Christmas, do not buy from any unauthorised traders and more importantly, don’t borrow from unauthorised lenders. It’ll end up costing you more in the long run.
9 Turn your clutter to cash
A few months ago I announced I was doing a clutter to cash for Christmas challenge. I was reselling things I no longer need or use in order to make money to pay for Christmas. I’ve made£194.20 of the goal and still have a few weeks to go.
What clutter do you have at home that you can quickly turn into cash? If you don’t need it, flip it. Any little you make can go towards your Christmas budget.
10. It’s not by force
Last but by no means least, when all is said and done it’s really not by force. If you can’t afford to buy Christmas presents for your loved ones, just say so. They will understand, and to be honest, if they don’t, do they actually deserve a gift from you in the first place?
Who would want their loved one going into debt just to buy them a Christmas present? Set yourself free from the peer pressure of gift-giving. Be honest with yourself and your financial situation. It’s not worth acquiring new debt just to save face.
I hope you found these 10 practical ways to avoid debt this Christmas useful, let me know which one you resonated with the most? Which will you be trying this Christmas? Let me know in the comments section below.
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