Worried about how to save money over Christmas after a difficult year? Dominika Cisz, a business psychologist at NHS-backed wellbeing platform Thrive, offers advice on how to deal with money worries over the festive period
Christmas can be the most wonderful time of the year but it can also be the most stressful time.
There is a huge pressure trying to make it perfect and memorable for everyone and it can cause some individuals to feel overwhelmed by the excess expectations rather than jolly.
We all know Christmas is expensive and there are many temptations to spend more money during the festive season on things that aren’t necessarily needed.
there are a few things you can do to survive the financial stress
Money worries increase feelings of anxiety and stress. Some may even experience feelings of guilt and misery as they can’t afford to spend money on presents for their friends, family or work colleagues.
With many people being furloughed or losing their jobs, these feelings may be very significant this year and this will certainly put additional strains and stress on the financial budget.
The good news is, there are a few things you can do to survive the financial stress during the festive season.
How to save money this Christmas #1 Stick to a budget
First things first, try to make a list and plan ahead. Sticking to a list can relieve stress as you will feel in control of your actions.
Create a total budget for all your gifts and individual budget for each person receiving the gift and stick to it.
Try to keep this information in one place, this could be a diary or a notebook as it will help you to visualise how much you have spent or will be spending.
Since you know what prices you are aiming for, you can shop around for the best prices which would save you money in the long run.
How to save money this Christmas #2 Buy throughout the year (instead of all in one go)
It’s too late for this year but try this money-saving tip for next year.
Certain gifts like perfumes or books can be bought throughout the year so try to think of gifts for others when you are shopping any sales.
This will definitely reduce the feelings of stress, anxiety during the festive period and make you feel more organised.
Certain gifts like perfumes or books can be bought throughout the year
Plus, the January sales include lots of decorations, lights and other Christmas related things. Even though you might not be thinking about next Christmas, this may be a very good time to buy some things for the next year.
How to save money this Christmas #3 Be honest with your friends and family
For some individuals, money can be a bit tighter and they won’t be able to afford Christmas presents this year. If you can’t afford gifts, don’t get any.
Let other people know, your friends and family should understand and there is nothing to be ashamed of.
Instead, offer to spend time with them (Covid-19 depending), help out with the Christmas preparations, organise a zoom call or a walk in the park. Time is precious and is probably the most valuable gift you can give to your loved ones.
How to save money this Christmas #4 Sell stuff you don’t need for extra cash
If you have your heart set on buying someone a gift but need some extra cash, go through some of your old things to see what you don’t make use of any more.
You could try to sell your old stuff on Marketplace, eBay or Depop to make some money.
Some people sell ‘new’ or ‘brand new’ items which could make brilliant gifts for others and save yourself a lot of money.
Remember, ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’.
How to save money this Christmas #5 Make instead of buy
To make Christmas even more special, why not include handmade gifts?
This could include baked biscuits, muffins, cards, photo albums or knitted scarves, homemade jams and chutneys. Whatever it is that you can create, include it.
Plus it’s a personal touch that your family and friends will love.
Dominika Cisz is a Business Psychologist at Thrive mental wellbeing platform, with a MSc in Occupational Psychology from the University of Hertfordshire.
Thrive supports three and a half million people globally with its mental wellbeing platform, including tools to help deal with anxiety and stress as well as screening for mental health conditions, making prevention part of general wellbeing for all.