Christmas or Groceries, can you do both?

With Christmas approaching it is a great time to think about spending.  I know how easy it is to get carried away with buying presents for your family and friends but just keep in mind what you spend effects your bottom line and you don’t want January to come and you get a huge bill in the mail.

There was a recent article in the Vancouver Sun and it stated that the Consolidated Credit Counseling service of Canada was encouraged that most of the debt growth is on car loans and installment loans, rather then higher-interest lines of credit or credit cards but they cautioned that could change over Christmas shopping peaks.

Don’t become Christmas statics and do some planning.  You don’t have go over board have a great Christmas.  Here are some tips:

  • Image your perfect Christmas.  For most Christmas isn’t about the pile of gifts (except for the kids).  Usually they are about family, friends, fun and enjoyment.
  • With good friends and family members put in a spending limit, if you have not had this conversation with your circle, most people are more then ok, they are actually relieved to put a limit on it.
  • Plan and budget for Christmas spending.  There is a lot of stress caused by finances and lack of planning.  Try to be practical about it.  There is no sense going overboard in December and having to eat noodles in January.
  • Use your imagination, a lot of people would rather an gift that took effort and imagination then something expensive.
  • Give an experience, especially with families that have kids, sometimes taking the kids to science world, the park or the movies for an afternoon is a better gift then a toy to add to the pile.
  • Give the gift of time, your time or your family and friends, I know for me, going to Starbucks for an hour alone or having a hour at home alone is one of the best gifts I can receive.
  • Take your time when shopping, when you have time you can put some time and thought into it and don’t fell pressured.

These are just a few tips, they are things I try to keep in mind as Christmas approaches, they keep our finances in mind and they keep me from being too stress out.  I love Christmas, spending time with friends and family, baking too many cookies and laughing lots! This year my parents are coming and my Dad is going to build the tickle trunk for me and I cannot wait to see the boys faces Christmas morning.


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