Have you ever calculated how much Christmas costs? Few people do.
The cost of Christmas includes all the presents you need to buy, all the Christmas functions you need to attend and all the additional food and drink you need to buy for the festive season. If you dont know how to save money during holiday season , you might find the cost of Christmas burdensome.
Dealing with presents
Make a list of all the people you need to buy presents for, be sure you really do need to buy presents for them.Set an amount that you are prepared to spend on each person and stick to it. Consider the amount of waste each Christmas.
Communicate with your family about the presents you intend to buy this Christmas.Some families decide on a system where everyone buys one present for one family member who is randomly selected for them. Usually an amount of money is agreed upon. This avoids the embarrassing situation of buying an inexpensive gift for a person who has spent a lot on your gift – and vice versa.
Some families still buy a gift for each family member, but they agree upon a low dollar amount for each one. This certainly saves money and avoids inequity in present giving; but it can be hard to find presents for some people (who might be difficult to buy for already) for only a little money.
Other families decide to buy presents for the children only and some families decide not to exchange gifts at all. There is no right way to do Christmas so do it your way.
You can reduce the cost of gifts by preparing something hand-made. If you have children, this can be something you involve them in. It can be a fun morning activity for them rather than an onerous chore. There are oodles of ideas on the internet for handmade Christmas gifts.
Whatever you do, talk about it with your family; be prepared for differing opinions; be flexible and remember that Christmas, for most, is a time of giving.
Functions and family events
December, for a lot of people, is filled with events and engagements. There are Christmas parties for work, sport clubs, hobby groups, friends an of course family. Consider which ones you really want to go to and whether you can avoid the ones you don’t want to attend.
A lot of families entertain more during the festive season. This can be expensive, and it can lead to waste. Every year there is enormous waste, and every year there are incidents of illness relating to the consumption of left-over food that has gone bad.
See if you can limit the amount of perishable foods you buy; in particular hams, seafood and other meat. If you are worried about running out of food, have spare non-perishable foods or food with a longer self life, rather than additional perishable food. Send left over food home with your guests rather than try to store it all.
If you need more help managing money at Christmas or at any time of the year remember that you can access a financial counsellor as part of your EAP, call 1800 629 277 in Australia and 0800 327 669 in New Zealand or email email@example.com