A time for giving…
All this talk about the green shoots of a stronger economy is promising after all the doom and gloom. Maybe there’ll be more jobs for us in the New Year, but that doesn’t really help us much this side of Christmas does it?
It’s worth noting that often the most pressure comes from ourselves and not other people – so do try to take on board some of the points below.
Sticking to your shopping list will help you to not impulse buy. If you know what you’re looking for before hitting the shops you’re also less likely to end up panicking about what to get.
Supporting Ireland on the Forbes’ list
In case you haven’t heard, Forbes magazine named Ireland as the best country for business. We’re sure this is great for all of us, but it doesn’t mean you have to single-handedly support those businesses by spending on credit.
Spending cash will prevent those interest rates building up, which means you’re less likely to be paying for Christmas until next June. If you’re using a debit card you’ll find you’re also less likely to overspend.
Christmas and gift giving doesn’t have to equal spending loads of money. Use your imagination to come up with more inventive and often more appreciated presents. Not only can it be cheaper, but it can be loads of fun too – perfect to stoke up that festive cheer. To get those cogs turning we’ve put a few suggestions together:
- Give time – it’s the most valuable thing we have, so offer up some of yours, even just to hang out, it’s extremely popular with older relatives
- Create vouchers – for specific things like gardening, babysitting, a foot massage etc. (though be careful who you give that one to!)
- Festive treats – get the apron out and bake something
- Use your talents – what are you good at? Writing, music art? Make something personal, especially good for people you’re very close to.
Perfect if you have a large family or gang of friends. It can be a way of keeping costs down and can take the stress out of thinking of lots of different gifts.
What’s your limit?
Agreeing to cap the amount spent on each person is a good way to make it easier for everyone to stick to their budget. Only buying for certain people can keep costs down – maybe the people you’re very close to. If you’ve a lot of young children in your family only buying for them and not the older family members is something to consider.
Try not to lose sight of what Christmas is really about. If you’re religious then focus on that, but even if you’re not it’s good to focus on appreciating family and friends.