Merry Christmas and a Financially Tight New Year

Financial Services Team Blog

Mishaal Husain

The time has come where we are slowly packing away our Christmas cheer for another year. We look back to the wholesome moments of precious quality time with our nearest and dearest, the exchange of presents, putting up glittery decorations and colourful lighting, the festive food and drink and eventful shopping trips.

Or for most of us; an overload of family ‘fun’ which quickly turns in to yet another family drama, buying extremely expensive children’s presents (no longer a cuddly toy but iPads and Playstations) that are short lived in their appreciation and the constant busyness of people pushing and shoving everywhere you go.

Participating in the Christmas tradition (with all the trimmings) has left the nation riddled with unwanted presents and debt. The rising prices, higher expectations and our forever increasing consumerism have meant many have mutilated their budget to provide the picture perfect Christmas for their family.


Light at the End of the Tunnel

The numerous adverts on television in the weeks coming up to Christmas display the pure joy of Christmas magic that comes from spending, particularly the hypnotising food adverts that can leave anyone’s mouth watering. This year saw a craze of store gift cards being advertised as ‘perfect stocking fillers’ – surely this is a present in itself!

Which? Predicts the biggest expenses are:

  1. Family and friends
  2. Food and drink
  3. Cards, trees and decorations

Next year, why not leave out the expensive stocking fillers and perhaps do a family secret Santa with the presents? Use old decorations or possibly get creative and make decorations rather than giving in to the shiny, new decorations from the stores with the eye-popping price tag to match. Why not send out E-cards instead of the traditional postal cards? There are many ways to avoid overspending; budgeting and planning ahead can help with the financial baggage that comes with the merry season.

So let us not be fooled in to debt and make sure the other 364 days don’t suffer by remembering Dr Seuss’ famous words:

“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?”