Christmas is the time to over indulge. It’s the time to over eat, over drink, over party…and you guessed it. To overspend. But just how harmful can this overspending be?

Well, it’s been statistically proven that at least one in eight people in the UK will be in some sort of debt following Christmas. This so called “financial hangover” can cause money troubles through January and beyond, with some people even struggling to pay for necessities like bills and utilities. But why do we do it?

In one word: pressure. Christmas puts us all under a lot of pressure. It puts us under pressure to impress, to buy more, to eat more and to be happier all the way through December – but is that really a healthy way to think, and is it possible to be frugal with cash and still have a magical Christmas? Well, today we’re going to look at ways of avoiding debt this Christmas, and give some financial tips to help you on your way.


Create a Budget, and Stick to it

People hear the word “budget” and immediately picture scraping by on the bare minimum. We have no idea why, but this is the general consensus when it comes to all things budgeting – yet it couldn’t be further from the truth.

Budgeting very simply means figuring out what YOU can afford, and not going beyond that. It doesn’t matter whether you can afford to buy Hamilton New York tickets on sale and surprise big, or whether your budget is a little more modest. It’s all about what’s right for you, and your bank account.

What we suggest doing, is sitting down with a pen and paper – or a spreadsheet if you’re that way inclined – and planning a budget for the Christmas season, including all manner of festive fayre. Figure out your incoming money, your necessary outgoings (bills, etc) and what you have left over. Then figure out where you can save in your daily life, and come up with the maximum figure you can afford to spend on all things Christmas – WITHOUT borrowing or overspending. 

Then, separate this figure into sections of what it is you need to buy. Now, this is your budget. Stick to it, and you’ll find yourself far better off come the new year.


Do it Online

We know that time is ticking, and the time for online shopping is getting slimmer and slimmer. But you STILL have time – if you act quickly.

The people who plan and design shop floor layouts are marketing genius’ – period. They know exactly where to put things and how to phrase them in order to encourage consumers to buy, buy, buy. Everyone is tempted to buy more in the festive period anyway, so all it takes is a gentle push. Avoid temptation, and do your shopping online this year. You’ll be far less likely to buy into “deals” and pick things up unnecessarily. 

Another great thing about shopping online, is that most of the time it’s cheaper. The deals online are proven to be far better than those in store, and most of the time they have more stock too, so they’re less likely to sell out. There are still deals left over from Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so get browsing, and get your Christmas shopping done!

A word of warning though, you’ll need to do it soon in order to ensure Christmas delivery. It’s the busiest time of the year for delivery services, so the cut off point is pretty soon we would imagine. Always read the small print and ensure that whatever you’re ordering will arrive in time for the big day. Other than that, sit back, pour a glass of wine, open up your laptop, and get shopping! It’s a far more pleasant experience than trawling around the shopping mall.


Only Buy for the Kids

Finally, come to an agreement in your family to only buy for the kids.

You might feel awkward being the one who suggests it, but realistically everyone will be relieved by the prospect of only having to buy for the younger generations, as it’ll save them a fair sum of cash.

If your family are all grown up now and there are no children in sight, then why not suggest doing a Secret Santa as an alternative? This way everyone has a spending limit and only has one gift to buy outside of their immediate circle. It’s cheaper, less stressful, and more fun. 

Author's Bio: 

Alex is a graduate who loves to write on different topics related to finance and technology