Christmas is reportedly one of the most expensive holidays in the year. Think about it, the prices of travel tickets go up and there seems to be some activity to do every other day (Christmas parties, dinners, brunch, shows, carols, etc). And the malls are filled with stores that simply scream ‘BUY ME, I am CHEAPER than I used to be’.
This year is a little different, life after a pandemic has gotten a little more expensive than it used to be. Here’s why:
- The inflation rates around the world have gone up in the last few months. 3.2% in UK, 4.2% In the US and 1.69% in Canada
Inflation: when the price of things go up, things are more expensive and $1 yesterday doesn’t hold the same value as $1 today.
- Also, there seems to be supply chain issues in Canada and the US: Essentially, goods are stuck at the ports and are not able to make it to the suppliers and sellers as they would have in the past.
- Finally, life is just more expensive because let’s be honest, the world is trying to recover from the financial impacts of the pandemic.
This 2019 study show that 21.5% of Americans have gone into debt over the Christmas holiday and 70.3% had no idea how they would pay it off. This study also shows that 36% of Canadians expected to go into debt during the 2019 holiday season.
Here are some tips to help you avoid going into debt over the upcoming holiday season:
- Create a holiday budget: Include everything in your budget and give yourself some wiggle room for additional expenses that could pop up.
Things to include in your holiday budget
- Travel costs : Flights, accommodation, transportation, meals and entertainment
- Gifts: Don’t forget to include any secret Santas you might be participating in this year.
- Get creative with gifts: If you sent out Christmas cards in the past, you could opt for e-cards this year. You could trade dine outs for home cooked meals too and gift your loved one things and experiences that don’t cost a lot. For example, a massage or mani pedi.
- Look for deals and use your rewards if you have those: Use websites such as Rakuten and Honey to look for coupons and discounts.
- Start planning, preparing and saving now: You don’t want to be caught paying loads of money for expedited shipping costs and risk not getting your gifts on time because you didn’t start early. If you know what you want to get your loved ones, you could start buying them now so you aren’t caught up in the last minute frenzy.
- Adjust your budget as needed: If something is too expensive at this time, don’t be scared to take it off your budget. Remember YOLO but you also want to do it while being financially responsibly
- If you plan to travel, buy your tickets NOW.
- If you have the option to work remotely, consider flying a few weeks before Christmas and a few days after new year to beat the holiday travel hikes. If you don’t care, travelling on Christmas day and New Year are also cheaper around that period.
That’s it from me. Please share some finance tips you have used in the past or plan to use this holiday season.