Tuesday, 7 October 2008

HOW TO AFFORD CHRISTMAS

To comfortably afford Christmas it is necessary for us to radically change our view of it. Christmas is 2 days only, but we spend months preparing, stressing and spending for it. The Christmas present buying aspect is representative of the gifts that were brought to Jesus on the day of his birth, so our gifts to friends and family should also be representative; a kind thought, a considered gift – but not a huge amount of money spent. If you have friends and relatives who try to outdo you every year in the expensive buying of presents – then let them. Don’t join in. This “keeping up with the Jones’s” mentality is not only “un-green”, wasteful and misguided, it is just plain wrong. Even without the present Credit-Crunching, recessive times, those with debts cannot afford to make them bigger just to “have a good Christmas”. If that so-called “good” Christmas sees us in January broke and with even more credit card debt which takes the rest of the year (or more!) to pay off – then that can never be a “good” Christmas. You could tell everyone that you are trying to be debt free by the end of 2010 and so will be buying very small presents, or even making them. Tell them also not to spend too much on you – I find this helps both parties. But if they go ahead and spend far more than you do – well, that’s their business – you did warn them! Now is the time to think carefully about how much you can really afford. Make a list of everyone you have to buy for and calculate how much (ideally) you would like to spend. If you have 20 people to buy for and you think you should spend £10 on each of them – do you actually have £200 cash (not credit) to spare, or will you at least have it by the end of November? If the answer is no, then you have some more thinking to do. Happy Frugal Christmas!

2 comments:

Love said...

Happy Frugal Christmas to you! This frugal Christmas I am going to focus on the meaning not the Jone's! I keep trying to think of frugal ways to give something meaningful and buy for 30 people on a very small, tiny budget. I found cards at www.truechristmascards.com and I am buying frames so people can recycle them and use them as Christmas decorations. Frugal and green..wink

The Holiday Blog said...

Great article! Thanks for sharing. Appreciate your insight!