The Costs of the Season

December 4, 2009

It’s that time of year again! There are only 22 21 days until Christmas.

It used to be that we would then hear how many shopping days that meant. Now, however, when the shops are mostly open 7 days a week and until all hours, it makes little difference, you can shop any day and I’m not even going into internet shopping!!

Here in New Zealand, for many it is also the countdown to the summer holidays, although, having been in Christchurch for 4 days and wearing winter clothes, one could be excused for wondering!! So, even without the winter weather, this is notoriously a stressful time of year.

There are parties to plan, organise and attend. There are meals out and in, to plan, organise and attend. There are holidays to plan and organise, and then there is Christmas day to plan, organise and attend (unless of course you don’t celebrate Christmas) If you have children, there are all of their end of year functions to plan, organise and attend! One word for it – BUSY!  Tired already?! Stressed?! It’s not over yet!

You are now expected to shop – for meals, for holidays and of course, for Christmas presents. Even if money is not an issue for you this is stressful. What to buy for Dad, Grandma, Auntie Collette etc?

It is a really good idea if you can, to make a Christmas present list, together with a budget before you even enter the shops. If you can’t get as far as knowing what you are going to buy for Dad, at least know the limit of what you want to spend on him and don’t go over. On my website, I have some other tips (My top 10 Tips) for reducing the amount you spend at Christmas. Go here to download for free http://www.financialclarity.co.nz

There I advocate just taking the budgeted amount, in cash, and no credit cards, when you go Christmas shopping, then you can’t go over! This is particularly if you are inclined to overspend, compulsive shop or, have any kind of shopping addiction. Of course, the same trick works when shopping at any time, not just at the holiday season.

This season, as I said in the beginning, is stressful by it’s very busyness, try not to make it more stressful by incurring debt as well. Most of all enjoy and have fun!

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