Avoid Post-Christmas Debt
So, the Christmas shopping has begun. Millions of people flocked to the shops for the Black Friday flash sales this weekend to start spending their hard earned cash as soon as it hit their accounts. It is inevitable that many people will be piling up debt as well as piling up the presents this year, as Christmas just isn’t easily affordable for most people in the world, the expense is not purely to do with presents, but also food, and decorations and trees to name a few. Even the people who squirrel away their money will feel the weight of Christmas on their bank accounts.
The Black Friday sales are a terrible trap for would-be frugal folk. They entice us into buying that ‘ever-so-cheap’ hand blender for our soup-enthusiast of an uncle, or that Elmo water bottle we had no intention of buying our 4-year-old-second-cousin-once-removed or even that foot spa for our grandmother that was £99 but is now just £59! It is still £59 we would not have spent had we not been swayed otherwise by the price cut. Companies have these flash sales because they encourage chaos. Days before these sales begin they will advertise them and make sure you are fully aware that you must get there before anyone else or everything WILL BE GONE. Most items bought during this period will be impulse purchases. ‘Oh but it’s such a good deal’ is where it all begins and the debt starts to creep up.
This year why not practise sensible Christmas shopping and enforce some damage control by only buying things your family and friends really want, and if you have to buy anything on credit that you can afford to pay it back. Alternatively, to avoid debt altogether, why not make an arrangement to give a little money to charity for Christmas instead of buying gifts and enjoy a consumerism-free Christmas, which will be kind on the wallet. Last year, a household in the UK spent on average £1000 on Christmas and many will still be paying it back even though this Christmas is knocking at our doors. If your family really love exchanging gifts and opting out of present buying is not an option, why not keep Christmas Day presents to a minimum and then buy each other gifts in the sales after Christmas, when everything is reduced at a much better rate than in the Black Friday sales.
Debt can ruin lives and be very detrimental to your mental health. It is important that even though we want to give everything to our families at Christmas, we consider how it will affect our day-to-day life afterwards. Putting a few hundred pounds onto a credit card might not seem like a big deal, but it soon can become a big deal once interest begins to stack up and it affects your ability to buy the essentials in life.
Spend cautiously this Christmas. After all, Christmas is about family and not all about the presents.