Christmas is a time when even the most disciplined of savers can be tested to their limits. Kids can be very persuasive in getting what they want; from expensive toys to the latest video games, it is sometimes too easy to give in. After all, we don’t want our kids to feel hard done by or be the odd one out… do we? Especially when all their friends are getting what they want; we don’t want to be seen as not caring enough about our children to buy them the coolest gifts. It is quite ridiculous really.
What makes things worse is that the expectations are so high on the amount of money that should be spent. Hundreds of pounds are gone in a heartbeat; like it’s the norm. Why would one gift not suffice? How can we teach our kids the value of money if we spend it like we don’t understand it either.
It is not just kids that lead us to spend a little bit extra at Christmas; the peer pressure and social conformity cause us to buy unneeded gifts for so many people. Do the neighbours really need a bottle of wine, or would a hand written card with a personal message be more meaningful? Do the kids teachers really need a gift or would a hand-made gesture be appreciated more instead of a stereotypical box of chocolates. I wonder what stands out when the teacher takes them all home? These ‘customs’ are so unnecessary!
The Food is Makin’ me Fat
How many times have you heard people complaining about how much weight they have picked up over Christmas? I mean goodness me, we just need to look at the trend of how many gym memberships are taken out in January – driven by a feeling of guilt to work off the Christmas gut.
The process is detrimental: You spend too much money on food, only to pick up weight and feel bad about yourself – which leads to spending money on a gym membership to work it all of.
What’s the alternative? How about we don’t go quite so crazy on the Christmas food and wine – spend a little bit less, eat a little bit less and save a lot more!
So we have talked a lot about goal setting via the Change Your Life Series. January is widely regarded as the most depressing month. The days are cold and dark, people have put on weight and have to go back to work and they are often broke. Well here’s a head up folks. Don’t give in to those extra presents – your kids can only appreciate so many toys. Giving more does not make you a better person. Take the time and make the effort to write some personal messages in your neighbours cards. And finally, save yourself some extra work in January and lay of the food and drink. Just because Christmas is a time for eating and sharing time with family – it doesn’t mean that you need to eat like a pig everyday! Chances are, you have extra time off – why not use a day or two to go for a run? Avoid the stereotypes this Christmas folks and make sure you have enough money left over at the end of the month in December.
How do you manage your money at Christmas?Do you find yourself tempted to spend over the period?