Prepare for the Christmas money drain in four simple steps

 

 

 

This is a partnered guest post.

As we sail through the last quarter of the year, it’s wise to start preparing for the festive money drain. Here are five tips to help you get through the next few months with ease:

Take out a rewards credit card

Christmas can leave a large dent in your bank balance if you’re not careful – so why not take out a rewards credit card? Not only will you earn a host of reward points every time you spend, but you can redeem them against a wide range of goodies – helping you to save money. Thanks to the large variety of reward cards available, you can even receive gifts that suit your wants, tastes and needs, so it’s worth finding the best reward credit card online.

Think about a balance transfer

Are you looking to get your finances in order before Christmas? If so, you might want to think about making a balance transfer. This involves transferring outstanding debt onto a credit card with a lower interest rate and could save you a lot of money in the long-run. As many banking groups offer a 0 per cent balance transfer rate for an introductory period, you should be able to get things paid off quicker – helping to ease the financial burden of the festive season.

Start putting money aside now

Whether you are paid monthly or weekly, it’s wise to start up a Christmas fund as soon as possible. This will ensure you have enough money to get through the cold spell and will save you counting the pennies at the last minute. As it’s tempting to overspend, it’s also worth writing what you need to buy and working out a budget. Christmas doesn’t have to be as expensive as you might think, so don’t get yourself in financial trouble for the sake of one day.

Cut your Christmas present bill

If money’s a little tight, why not avoid buying presents all together? If this would go down like a led balloon with your family, consider putting together a secret Santa-type ballot. Simply write everyone’s names on a different piece of paper, fold them up, throw them in a box and ask everyone to make a selection. Whoever’s name they pull out is the person they have to buy for. You could even plan a secret Santa gift exchange online, so there’s no excuse for breaking the bank.

It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, so don’t let money worries spoil the festive season.

 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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Comments

  1. I need to get better about setting up a Christmas fund ahead of time. Gah!

  2. Karen Medlin says:

    Good tips, this year we are cutting back and have been working on making homemade gifts.

  3. Great tips! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Awesome tips!

  5. I definitely think that if you’re going through a hard time financially, nixing gifts is a good idea. It doesn’t have to mean you get nothing at all – gifting someone your time, homemade food, or an item that you made yourself is even more meaningful that running out to buy something.

  6. Setting up a Christmas account is such a great idea. It helps to put a little aside every month so that your not taking a big hit to your wallet all at once.

  7. Definitely agree with cutting back if you don’t have the funds. I go overboard at Christmas (it’s in my genes) but we plan for it. And I shop really, really smart. Almost all of our holiday shopping is being paid for with cashback rewards from our Discover!

  8. We didn’t have the funds one year for an elaborate Christmas so we told the kids upfront. They were understanding and appreciated the simple gifts they received.

  9. These are great ideas. I love the idea of secret santa if funds aren’t as high this year for some 🙂

  10. Great tips! I love decorating for the holidays, it’s my favorite time of year!

  11. I started the “putting money aside” thing a few years back and it works so well. I make myself stay within that budget. I refuse to charge!

  12. Great tips!

  13. I never use credit cards, in fact, I don’t have any so I never go into debt over the holidays. I also do not buy gifts for everyone. I buy small gifts–like Starbucks cards–for teachers, gifts for my immediate family, my sister, I make a couple pounds of fudge for my brother and buy something for a few friends. I really focus on my children, because they don’t have grandparents or anything like that.

    We are also really focusing on doing for others. My kids don’t know how lucky they are.

  14. I get a lot of cashback and gift cards from my rewards credit card! You just have to be careful to pay off your card on time! 🙂

  15. Thanks for sharing these tips.

  16. Good ideas. We’re cutting back this year.

  17. We stopped with the gift exchange…the emphasis was always on saving money, not getting people their dream gifts, so it was kind of silly and just going through the (expensive) motions.