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How to “survive” financially during the holiday season

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By Andreea Stoinescu, Founder of Pastel Gifts

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This festive season is synonymous with the joy of giving, as Christmas traditions include exchanging gifts, but it's just as important to be careful with our finances. This article aims to offer a number of practical tips for smart spending over the festive season, ensuring that Christmas is celebrated with joy and not overshadowed by financial stress.

1. Understanding the Financial Climate

“Think about the big picture of your finances and how your vacation spending decisions can affect your overall financial well-being and goals.”

< p>In the current landscape of increased inflation and interest rates, your household budget may be under more pressure than ever. It is important to understand how these economic changes affect your wallet and how you should align with this new financial reality and be more careful with your spending now.

2. Set a budget

Setting a budget and planning will prevent you from overspending or even going into debt. This proactive step is the cornerstone of your effort to control your expenses. Consider your expenses from previous years and remember to factor in hidden costs as well. As we need to enjoy the holiday season and Christmas shopping is usually an enjoyable activity with all the decorated shops, it's okay to budget for an amount that would be considered an “overspend”. This will act as a safety net and protect you from the trap of impulse purchases, -which combined with the ease of installment payments can give you the illusion of affordability. Additionally, it will allow you to be guilt-free and feel like you are within your overall financial goals. A well-planned budget is the first line of defense, allowing you to enjoy the holidays without financial regrets.

3. Track your spending

As the holiday season progresses, keep an eye on your spending. You can use excel, a budgeting app, or even a simple notebook. Tracking expenses will help you stay within your budget and make adjustments if you spend more than planned.

4. Smart gifts

Gift giving is an art that doesn't necessarily require crazy expenses. Affordable yet thoughtful gift ideas can bring just as much, if not more, joy. Consider handmade gifts, personalized items or even the gift of time and experiences. These alternatives not only save money but also add a unique personal touch, making the holiday season memorable for both the giver and the recipient. For example, at Pastel Gifts, a specialist online gift business, we encourage our customers to focus more on each person's personality and taste, as carefully choosing the right gift can be more important than price. Another fact that is sometimes overlooked but can make a big difference is creating a personal greeting card with a few words written from the heart, with a personal message for the person you are sending the gift to.

5. Long-term financial prosperity

Responsible holiday spending plays a critical role in your broader financial health. It's an opportunity to show restraint and foresight, setting the tone for long-term saving and managing your obligations. Think about the big picture of your finances and how your holiday spending decisions can affect your overall financial well-being and goals.

Remember that smart spending during the Christmas season has to do with balancing the joy of the season with financial prudence. By planning ahead and controlling your usual expenses, you can enjoy the holidays to the fullest without jeopardizing your financial stability for the coming year. And you might even be able to save a small portion of the “13th salary” that most people in Cyprus receive.

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Source: www.kathimerini.com.cy

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