It’s the season of giving, and with many people are in a festive mood, some might be feeling generous enough to give more than is necessary or even expected. Others may feel pressured by family members who ask for specific items with price tags that are hard to swallow.
Regardless of your situation, it’s important to stay on top of your finances during this time so that you can budget for future expenses or set money aside for savings goals.
Thankfully, Atmen is here with some tips on how you can do just that.
See The Bigger Picture
Before you jump into holiday shopping, it’s important to take a step back and remember what the festive season is all about. You’ve probably heard about how Christmas has become a commercialized holiday, but it’s easy to forget just how much pressure can be put on spending money when we’re all in the spirit.
The good news is that you don’t have to spend exorbitant amounts of cash during Christmas or any other time of year. You simply need to remember the true spirit behind the season and use this as a chance to appreciate loved ones. Choose thoughtful gifts over expensive ones, and remember, when you’re buying presents for 10 people, a small saving of £10 off each gift will make a big difference at the end of the month.
Don’t Forget Your Other Bills!
With so much emphasis on the one or two days of Christmas, it’s easy to forget other expenses around the holidays. While you might be tempted to send Christmas cards and spend time with family members, it’s also important to remember your monthly bills.
Some of the most common holiday-related expenses include:
- Your usual utility bills, which may go up if you spend more time at home over the holiday period.
- Entertaining guests at home or in restaurants.
- Buying extra food and decorations during the holidays.
- Gifts for children or extended family members.
- Office parties and Christmas parties.
- New Year’s Eve-related expenses.
This list only scratches the surface of what you might spend during the holidays, so it’s important to check your bank balance and budget early on.
Did you know that December is generally the most expensive month of the year? And this leads to financial problems for many people who are already feeling the stress of festive season budgeting. It’s easy to get into debt during this time if you don’t have a plan in place for all your expenses or savings goals.
Create A Budget
Keeping track of your spending is and always has been an essential step in managing your finances. A simple spreadsheet or mobile app like Atmen can help you track everything from daily expenses to annual costs, and you might be surprised at how effective this is.
Keeping a budget is especially important during the holidays because it will help you account for every extended family member, friend or co-worker you might need to spend money on. This prevents last-minute panic shopping, which is often more expensive and less thoughtful than planned gifts.
It’s also important to prioritize your spending, to ensure you’re spending where it matters most.
Only Borrow If You Must
And only borrow what you can repay.
Many people resort to borrowing money during the holidays because they feel pressured to buy certain items. As tempting as it may be at the time, this can be a really a bad idea.
You never know when you’ll receive an unexpected expense. The last thing you want to do is borrow money now that might be even harder to pay back in the future.
The tip is designed to help you take charge of your finances rather than allowing debt or unnecessary spending to dampen your holiday spirit.
The Mental Effects of Monetary Pressures During the Holidays
It’s also worth mentioning that the stress of having a limited budget during Christmas can harm your mental health. This includes not just depression and anxiety but general lethargy and moodiness as well.
The main reason for this is that people who can’t cover their expenses feel hopeless – that there’s no way out of it. Without a plan or belief that they can pay their creditors back, it’s easy to become depressed and anxious about the holiday season.
And this also applies to people who spend too much. For example, if you’re planning on taking a vacation over Christmas but don’t have enough cash, this could increase stress levels and lower your mood.
It’s also likely to put a strain on your relationship with family members if you try to hide the fact that you’re spending more than you can afford.
Using Atmen’s prepaid cards can help you save money and build a payment history to help you avoid financial problems during the festivities. If your wallet is already feeling slim, it might be better to focus on existing savings goals such as holiday food shopping or decorating expenses.
Atmen is also an excellent tool for helping you stay in control of your money while keeping track of your expenses and savings.
It’s important to remember that you’re not alone during the holiday season – millions of people are in a similar situation to you, and there is always a big colourful light at the end of the tunnel.