We’ve all heard the Christmas carol, “The 12 days of Christmas” and the gifts that were given. But what kind of gifts would maxed out credit cards, sleepless nights and a bad credit rating be for anyone… You wouldn’t dream of giving those to a loved one so why would you give them to yourself?
With the one off 'sales' retailers use to try and extract the last pound from shoppers it is easy to get carried away in the Festive Season. However, if you over indulge this Christmas you could be left with more than just a bad hangover and a few extra inches on your waistline.
With personal debt in the UK reaching a huge £1.562 trillion* at the end of October 2017 and an average of 277* people a day in the UK being declared insolvent or bankrupt, it’s more important than ever that we give ourselves a thorough reality check when it comes to how we manage our finances. (*Source: The Money Charity)
We are always taught that Christmas is about giving rather than receiving, but who says that has to mean giving expensive gifts that our loved ones often don’t want or need? If your loved ones knew that you were putting yourself in financial hardship to buy that gift how would they feel?
It’s true that children are subjected to a lot of peer pressure and marketing and that can lead parents to feel that their children are missing out if they don’t get the newest toy, but we often don’t credit children with the level of resilience or intelligence they possess. If you can’t afford something be honest with them and set a budget you can afford. Teaching children about the value of money is an important and worthwhile lesson that will serve them well throughout their lives.
This doesn’t mean you need to cancel Christmas, but think of how much better it will be for everyone when you aren’t worrying about the aftermath of your spending! Remember, Christmas is about giving but why not give your time and love which makes for a truly magical holiday season filled with precious memories and family fun. That is something that money simply cannot buy.
So a few tips to get you and your finances through the Christmas Break:
- Work out exactly what you can afford, we have included a link to our high level financial planner which could help you identify what surplus monies you have available
- Set your budget for gift shopping and stick to it, no exceptions
- If you have a large family try using the secret Santa approach so that you are only buying one present each
- Plan what you need to get so that you aren’t left panic buying the days before Christmas
- Be open about what you can and can’t afford
- Most important of all, give your time and love. That will mean more to your family than any gift you could buy in a shop.
If you do need help talk to someone. Financial pressure can escalate and cause mental health issues and needs to be dealt with. CavanaghKelly offers a free consultation for anyone with financial worries. There are also many debt charities such as Step Change, Citizen's Advice and Refresh that can help you towards getting back on track.
Interested in finding out more? Contact:
Whilst every effort has been made by CavanaghKelly to ensure the accuracy of the information here, it cannot be guaranteed and neither CavanaghKelly nor any related entity shall have liability to any person who relies on the information herein. Information given here is for guidance only. Detailed professional advice should be taken before acting on any information contained herein. If having read the guidance here, you would like to discuss further; a member of our team would be pleased to help you.