Every year we have good intentions of setting aside money for the Christmas holidays. There are gifts to buy, parties to host and attend, and decorating to do, all of which costs money. You’ve done your best to set aside a certain amount each month, but as luck would have it, you usually run short. Most people find that they need to dip into those funds throughout the year and have been caught unprepared in the past.
This year is no different and here you are, yet again, with insufficient funds with the holidays right around the corner. Here are some tips for getting through the holidays on a limited budget to help you survive the season.
1. Repurpose Last Year’s Holiday Apparel
While you wouldn’t normally want to be caught dead at the office party in last year’s outfit, you do know that you can change it up a bit, don’t you? Even suits and dresses can be repurposed with accessories to make them look totally new. For men, it might be as simple as buying just a new tie or a holiday coloured shirt to wear with your suit. Ladies can change the look of almost any dress with a few accessories. From belts to jewellery, you can make an old outfit look totally new with a few ‘minor’ adjustments.
2. Short-Term Loans for Those Unaffordable Gifts
So, you’ve eaten into your holiday budget and now there isn’t enough money in the bank to buy gifts for all the family and those gifts for the office party. If you have a job, it’s quite easy to qualify for a short-term loan with or without good credit. If you’re coming across multiple companies who don’t accept those with bad credit, you can apply for a short term loan with someone such as Bingo Loans who welcome all credit histories to give you the money you can’t raise on time for those much-needed gifts.
If you do have less than perfect credit, then just be wary of the fact that interest rates may be a bit higher. With a job and a bank account you could get a loan in a couple of hours, and that’s the kind of loan you need with the holidays fast approaching.
Just remember to borrow only what you need so that you don’t start the new year in too much debt to recover from. That would put you behind next year as well, wouldn’t it?
3. Host a Party at Home
During the holidays, many business professionals like to take the team out for a cocktail and dinner, but this might be more than you can afford this year. It doesn’t mean that you can’t continue your tradition of celebrating with your co-workers, only this year, you can host a budget-friendly party at home. It’s far less expensive to prepare a few finger foods, cook dishes to be kept warm on an open table, and serve alcohol from a bar you’ve set up at home. In fact, you can often buy a bottle of liquor that will serve dozens for the price of a couple drinks at a restaurant.
No one needs to know it’s a financial burden to celebrate this way if you keep the atmosphere warm and festive. Simply tell them it’s a way to celebrate without going elbow to elbow with so many others also celebrating the Christmas season.
4. Alter Your Travel Plans a Bit
If you had intended on going away for the holidays but can’t quite justify the expense of staying in a lavish hotel, why not alter your plans a bit and either go somewhere less expensive or ask friends or family if you can stay a few days with them in their guest room. If you really want to go to a specific location and have no one to room with while you are there, it is important to book your travel arrangements as early as possible so that you can start looking for travel deals.
Remember, when you want to go by air or on a cruise, for example, the closer you get to the holidays, the less likely there will be an availability of tickets. It’s the old supply and demand principle and so you are more likely to find deals early than at the last minute.
Many financial advisors suggest that you keep more than one savings account to prevent this from happening again. Set aside money in a holiday account not to be touched unless it is a life-threatening emergency. Then, establish another ‘emergency account’ where you can tuck away a few pounds per pay period that you can dip into if the car suddenly fails or the roof begins to leak. Surviving the holidays means planning ahead but when all else fails, remember there are short-term loans to tide you over until after the first of the year. Just remember to borrow cautiously only what you need and you should survive the holidays just fine.