Christmas with an Insolvency Solution – Some Tips to celebrate on a lower Budget
Christmas can be an expensive time, and it’s not uncommon to feel the pressure to spend mounting, as advertisers unleash their latest attempts to part customers from their cash with costly gifts.
Many people also feel pressure from friends and family to overspend at this time of the year, and worry that avoiding or reducing gift-giving won’t be well-received. Fortunately, despite all this, Christmas is about celebrating with the ones we love more than giving them expensive treats.
If you are in an IVA, or other insolvency solution, you’ll likely have to tighten your belt when it comes to holiday spending, but there is plenty you can do to get into the Christmas spirt and show your loved ones you care without having to break your budget.
Plan in Advance
If possible, the best way to enjoy Christmas on a smaller budget is to plan ahead, as preparing at the last minute can lead to the classic panic-spending which fills retailers’ pockets in mid-December. Planning doesn’t have to mean setting money aside, but can be smaller steps, such as saving up loyalty points and vouchers throughout the year with Christmas in mind.
You could even try completing online surveys to earn shopping vouchers, since this costs nothing but time. If you keep your eyes open, you might also be able to snag a gift or too in sales throughout the year, rather than paying full price in December.
Working out a Christmas budget well in advance is also helpful for staying on track – if you have a target for Christmas spending, you will be less likely to overspend and risk the success of your IVA.
Christmas is a good excuse for many people to over-indulge, but avoiding excess in a few areas can be hugely beneficial to not only your wallet, but also your and the planet’s health. Small steps, like keeping Christmas dinner to one option per course, and avoiding the ubiquitous influx of costly Christmas chocolate boxes, will add up to real savings.
Buying food frozen is also a good idea, since it will keep, and is often less expensive – especially when buying meat. To kick your savings up a gear, you might consider replacing the expensive turkey with a vegetarian option.
A hearty nut-roast or vegetable pie can be a good alternative. You can further reduce the waste which Christmas often causes by foregoing the traditional live tree. An artificial tree is far better for the environment, since it can be used year after year, and will cost far less.
Keep Cosy together
Winter can be a challenge as fuel bills end up rising, but there are ways to reduce these whilst still keeping up the Christmas cheer. Keeping the family together throughout Christmas day will help keep everyone cosy because of the combined body-heat, and even if you do need to light a fire or switch on a radiator, you will save by only having to heat one room.
Leaving the oven door open once you’ve finished cooking is another small change you can make to get the most out of the power you’re using, reducing your energy bills in the process.
Be Open with your Loved Ones
Difficult as it can seem, being honest with your loved ones about being unable to splash out over Christmas is not only important to your efforts, but can also create a support network during a challenging time. If you usually host Christmas, someone else might be able to take over, or you could host a pot-luck dinner so that everyone makes a small contribution to food.
You could also arrange a spending limit on presents, or ditch them all together in favour of a heartfelt message in a card. People who love you will understand that you are trying to improve your circumstances, and support you in the changes you are making.
This may feel especially difficult when it comes to children, but the time and care that goes into planning Christmas is what they will remember more clearly than any present. Some friends and relatives may even be relieved at having fewer presents to buy, since, even without an IVA, budgeting for Christmas can be a challenge.
Find Free Festive Fun
It can be tough to forego the more costly Christmas traditions, but there are still plenty of festive activities to get you in the Christmas spirit free of charge. Many families have fun going on winter walks – wrapping up warm and enjoying the crisp weather and fresh air.
Going to see the Christmas lights in your area is another favourite which is sure to boost everyone’s mood. Indoors, board games, card games, and jigsaw puzzles can really bring a family together for quality time.
Christmas on a budget is likely to be tough, but the spirit of the season can also bring out the very love and support to help you make the most of it nonetheless. The best way to get the most out of Christmas is to take simple steps – planning in advance, cutting back on food and presents, and being honest with family will ensure you stick to your budget without having to forego celebrating altogether.
If you need more information about the options available to you in dealing with your debt, you can always speak confidentially with one of our friendly advisors on 0808 2085 198.