As a financial advisor, Iain Sharpe wants you to save money all year round. He, however, understands that Christmas can be a dicey time for parents on a budget. You want to give your children everything they want, but, at the same time, you don’t want to be stuck with thousands of dollars of credit card debt at the end of the year. If you are concerned about this, Iain Sharpe has a few easy tips to keep your spending in check.
Explain to Your Children What the True Spirit of Christmas Is: Iain Sharpe advises parents to have a heart-to-heart with their children about what Christmas is all about. Although there are plenty of advertisements about material goods, you will need to explain to your children that it’s all about family and enjoying each other’s company. There are plenty of movies that advocate this, so be sure to show them to provide evidence of the true nature of Christmas.
Set a Budget before You Start Shopping: Iain Sharpe says that you should take a look at your finances and establish a budget beforehand. Although it’s tempting to throw everything on your credit card, you definitely don’t want to go into debt because you want to spend more than you can afford on Christmas gifts. Figure out a number and stick with it.
Ask Your Children What They Really Want: Chances are your children will provide you with a large list of things that they want. It is up to you to set the correct expectations to ensure that they aren’t disappointed on Christmas day. Explain that Santa can only give so much, so they should prioritize what they really want. If you are able to give two or three gifts, make sure that they count.
Look for Ways to Save: This time of year, stores will offer many different deals to entice consumers to shop at their stores. Keep an eye on those deals to find gifts at a lower price than you will pay anywhere else. Also, look at non-traditional routes to get your gifts. You might be able to find a better deal on auction sites, yard sales, Craigslist, or even thrift stores. By keeping your eyes open, you could potentially save on your gifts so you won’t go over budget and into debt.