Holiday Saving Guide

December 20, 2019 9:40 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Christmas: A time for family, cheer, and exorbitant spending.  If you are anything like the average Canadian, you will have spent upwards of $1700 on gifts, travel, and food this holiday season. And with job growth slowing and cost of living rising, you may end up feeling more anxious than merry. So, before you get caught up in a yule shopping frenzy, consider these budgeting tips.

Create a Holiday Spending Budget

Before buying gifts, make a budget of the amount you feel comfortable spending, write a list of everyone you plan on buying things for, and every other expense you may have, e.g. gift wrap, tree, and turkey. And then, distribute your budget accordingly. Writing it down will make it much easier to not go over budget.

Will that be Cash or Credit?

The prospect of credit seems tantalizing at first. Get what you want now and pay later! Unfortunately, many consumers end up going way beyond their budget, spending money that they simply do not have, and overwhelming debt. The sense of joy at the time may override your trepidation, however, once you have to spend years paying off your debt for a gift you bought for your kids years ago, it will no longer feel worth it. If you don’t have the money for it, DON’T BUY IT!

Learn to say “No” to your kids

With every year, comes the shiny new toys and gadgets that the commercials claim will make children’s lives better. And as much as your kids want them, they can’t have all of them. Telling them to “pick one” is ultimately a lesson to be learned on thrift and humility.  For younger kids, it may be helpful to explain that Santa sends the bill for the elves workshop directly to parents based on the toys the kids get.

Giving “The Talk”

Talking about money with loved ones is difficult, and still considered taboo, but it needs to be done. Discuss with friends and family if presents are viable within your budget. Perhaps just buying gifts for the kids, and forgoing gifts for non immediate family members, will help you stay within your budget. Or agree that you will only “regift” items that you already own but no longer have need off.  The perfect Christmas present may be a “recycled” one.

 Make Christmas a Non-Spending time

The best advice is to maybe try to avoid spending all together.  Especially if you find the holiday season stressful and a financial burden, the best advice may be to change up the spending tradition.  Maybe agree with friends and family that the goal for Christmas is to spend time together and to not spend time at the mall.

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