As we reach Autumn our attention naturally turns to darker evenings, cosy nights in, but also planning for one of the most expensive times of the year – Christmas and New Year. No matter your situation, your beliefs, occupation, family set-up, or location, you’ll be affected by Christmas and New Year in some way. If you are a family living on a budget, it is important to be as prepared as possible, as early as possible, in order to avoid the financial pitfalls that can befall any family during this time of year. It can be a stressful and panicked time for many, so here we look at a few ways in which you can plan ahead in a cost-effective way to ensure you are not doomed to an expensive Christmas and New Year, or a disappointing one.
First, let’s take a look at how to prepare effectively for Christmas if you are on a tight budget. Look at the grocery side of things and throughout the year pick up items that are non-perishable and that you can store away months in advance. Whenever you see them on discount or promotion pick them up and put them away ready to go in a few months’ time.
Aside from that, when it comes to the actual food around Christmas look to the cut-offs and the misshapen fruit and veg that is perfectly edible but might be cheaper to buy due to how it looks. Little tips like this can always help you find the cheapest way to deliver a tasty Christmas dinner.
When it comes to New Year’s you can keep things as cheap as you wish. In the days after Christmas and around New Year’s you can make the most of all the leftover food from Christmas that we all seem to have in abundance. We’re used to the traditional turkey sandwiches for days after Christmas, but you can make stews, curries, fry-ups, and get through the drink, the snacks, and everything else over the next week or so, without having to go out and purchase more stuff.
New Year’s Day itself is often a day where nothing is open, and nothing is happening. Use this time to spend quality time with your family; go out for a walk, play games at home, have a film day in with all the family favourites. There isn’t any pressure at this time of year to spend any more money than is necessary, and there are plenty of ways in which you can entertain the family for free, or for a relatively cheap cost.
One way that you can prepare is to look at taking out a small payday loan to cover the cost of bulk grocery purchases in the run up to Christmas. Only ever do this if you have enough money to cover the cost come payday however, as to take out a loan without the repayment means will only mean you get into greater financial difficulty. A responsible payday loan lender will only allow you to take out a loan if they can see clearly that you can afford to pay them back under the agreed terms, so it is also vital that you choose a finance company that you can trust.