Christmas is a time of year that many people really look forward to, but it is also a time when some people really worry about money. There are so many things to spend money on at Christmas such a gifts, travel, food, decorations, wrapping, postage and cards to name just a few. This means that many people spend a great deal more money at this time of year and finding that money can be tricky.
It is not surprising, therefore, that many people are tempted to take out loans in order to help with the cost of it all. However, taking out a loan will mean that you will end up paying more money for the items than you would if you did not borrow due to the costs of the loan. You will also have to find the money to repay it as well. Therefore it is worth thinking hard before borrowing money like this.
It can be wise to have a think about alternative ways to manage the costs of Christmas without having to borrow money. Some people will save some money each month so that they have enough by the end of the year to afford what they want. This works well if you have good self-discipline and know that you will not spend the money in the meantime. You also need to have enough spare cash each month to be able to put a bit away.
If you think saving will not work for you, then buying gifts throughout the year could be better. Starting in the January sales buying cards and wrap can be a great way to save some money. Then look out for other items in sale time as well. You could even buy some food items early as long as the use by date is good. The only problem with this idea is that you might see a better present after you have bought one and end up buying that as well and therefore spending more money or you may be tempted to eat the food in advance and then not have it for Christmas. So there is a big element of self-discipline with this idea as well.
Some people will have a ‘no gift pact’ with some friends and family which can save a lot of money. It can be a great relief to some people if you suggest that you no longer exchange gifts as they may be struggling financially as well. It can be a hard thing to bring up in conversation but you can find online information about it and perhaps if you share it on social media with all friends and family on there and say you are happy to do this with anyone that contacts you privately, it could help. Another way is to suggest that gifts are only bought for the children in a family rather than all family members.
You may also be able to save money by cutting down a bit. You could try to look for cheaper items to give as gifts, reuse old decorations, do not invite so many people round so you do not need so much food, save gift wrap and gift bags and reuse, re-gift presents that you have been given, buy second hand items or make gifts. There are many ideas online for things that you can do in order to save money and it can be a lot of fun looking at them and trying some different things.
It can be wise to think about ways that you can avoid getting a loan. It may be hard work, mean cutting down or going without but it will help you to be better off in the future. You may feel mean by not spending as much money on people than you are used to but people would not want to think of you having to get a loan just to buy them a gift. People receiving gifts, usually, assume that you are giving because you can afford it and not that you are borrowing money to pay for it.
Getting a loan can be stressful at the best of times. Getting one at Christmas, when you then need to find money to start repaying in January, when you may not have a lot of money can be very difficult. You may be repaying it the whole year and not have money available to save towards next Christmas. It can be a lot better to spend less and then you can save up for next year without having the worry of loan repayments.