It's getting to be that time of year again, when the Christmas decorations come out in full force and wish lists for Santa start to appear. The Christmas holidays are a great time to celebrate with your family and show them how much you love and care for them, but the expense associated with it can also take a big toll on your finances.
Whether you have expensive Christmas gift ideas in mind or a much-deserved extended holiday for the whole family, household finances often see a big dip over this period. A little bit of planning ahead of time can go a long way towards making sure that you're not caught out of pocket when the festive season comes calling.
Budgeting for the holidays
You want to spend Christmas enjoying time with your loved ones, not stressing about the dollars in your bank account (or lack thereof). A budget can be very helpful for getting your finances in order and helping you plan ahead for the inevitable expenses that arise from Christmas gifts, holidays, food and drink and more.
The first step in creating a realistic budget involves working out what you can actually afford to spend. Here, you'll need to take a good hard look at your finances, current expenses and how many people you expect to spend on this year and calculate what can be put aside to go towards this. Once you have a concrete figure in mind, work out a budget to help you reach this goal. Setting aside even a small figure can lead to a big payoff if adhered to, so stick to your guns and don't be tempted by unnecessary purchases along the way.
The earlier you can start saving up, the better, as this will take more of the last-minute pressure off your shoulders. Another tip to help in the lead-up to the festivities is to start your shopping early. There's no rule that says you need to wait for the Christmas sales to start ticking items off your list - retailers offer some pretty big discounts all throughout the year, so keep your eyes peeled for that perfect gift. If you are planning to take a holiday, try to cut down on unnecessary spending in the months leading up to your departure date. You may have to sacrifice a bit now, but that will all pay off the minute you touch down at your destination. Budgeting for travel costs will include things like airfares, visas and passport documentation, travel insurance, accommodation, food, sightseeing activity fees and more.
Taking care of your finances
The Christmas holidays can be a financially stressful time, and even more so when families face the loss of a loved one. With a life insurance policy, you can ensure that your family finances will be protected even in the event that you are no longer there.
A lump sum will be paid to your chosen beneficiaries, helping them afford all the Christmas plans you were working towards such as gifts and holidays. There are a variety of life insurance policies to choose from, with varying levels of cover that can be tailored for your preferences. Find out more information about the different life insurance options available and make an informed choice on the right policy for your needs and budget.
This is general information and does not take account of your financial situation.
These articles are provided as reference material to allow more informed decision making, but are not intended as being a complete source of information on any topic. All readers should make their own independent analysis on the topic to make sure they have considered the aspects that are important to them.