The one time of year…
For many people, Christmas is a special time of year to meet with friends and family, enjoy togetherness, eat and exchange gifts.
Those who do not celebrate Christmas are likely to have a different special moment in their calendar to celebrate and gather.
As well as the joy, there is typically a lot of organising and extra expenses.
In the ING International Survey Christmas and New Year 2014 special report, released in December 2013, found that Christmas is the one time of year about three-in-ten – or 29% – of almost 12,000 people in 12 countries in Europe surveyed allow themselves not to worry about spending money. People in Romania (46%), France (35%), the United Kingdom (34%) and Spain (33%) were the most likely to agree – those in the Netherlands were the least (16%).
Don’t repeat the mistakes of Christmases past
There appears to be a danger of falling into a trap of spending more than is financially-healthy at Christmas.
The survey found that of those who agree they went into debt to pay for Christmas the previous year, half intend to spend more the following year.
There may be good reasons for this (such as being unemployed last year and having found a job in the meantime) however it raises a red flag. Only 10% of those who did not go into debt to pay for Christmas the previous year intended to spend more.
Celebrate with the financial basics
The first tip in eZonomics Four tips for the festive season is to “celebrate with … the financial basics”.
Splashing out for special occasions such as Christmas, the New Year and birthdays, can be fun but it can pay to make sure the spending is within reason. One of the best ways is to make a budget a year in advance, put money aside regularly, then enjoy the results of your effort on the big day.
We also have Four more tips for the festive season and Four final tips for the festive season - adding to the 12 tips of Christmas in total.