How to keep your Christmas spending under control

If you’re struggling to get back on your feet following the recession, it might be a good idea to curb your Christmas spending this year. Of course, buying gifts for your loved ones is part and parcel of the festive season, but there’s no need to go overboard and leave yourself in the red.

Use your credit card sensibly

With the big day rapidly approaching, it can be tempting to apply for a credit card online and rack up huge debts. This might seem fun at the time, but you won’t be laughing when you receive your bills in the New Year. There’s no denying that the right bit of plastic can make shopping easier, but set yourself a limit and make sure you pay your installments on time to avoid high interest rates.

Look for deals on the internet

If stepping into the Christmas crowds and battling your way round the shop sounds like holiday hell – fear not. Some of the best bargains around can be found on the ‘net and you won’t even have to step outside your front door. Many retailers also offer deals and discounts that are not available in-store and you can even get hold of money off vouchers that could save you a fortune.

Try not to impulse buy

There’s no harm in popping to the Christmas markets, or venturing to town – so long as you don’t impulse buy. One of the best ways to control your shopping urges is to draw up a list of the people you want to buy for – and stick to it. If you’re paying for any items electronically, put them on a low rate credit card with reward points and refrain from buying any other treats.

Draw up a secret Santa

If you can’t afford to buy for your whole family this year, why not set up a secret Santa? Simply write the names of your relatives on small bits of paper, scrunch them up and throw them in a box or hat. Once that’s done, get everyone to pull out a name in secret and ask them to buy a present for that person. Set a price limit and agree to all open your gift on Christmas Day – it really is that easy.

Christmas is just around the corner, so if you’re in the midst of your shopping, try your best not to overspend.

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