Guest post by moneysupermarket.com
Don’t you just hate it when Christmas draws closer each year and all the personal finance blogs start with their laboured and tenuous Christmas-related posts?
You do? Oh. Well, this definitely isn’t one of those, so please read on 😉
Christmas typically means spending more time looking at your finances than we’d like to. It’s an expensive month and one where we have to make our money stretch as far as possible, in order to make it last to the New Year.
With all the furious spending and the avalanche of advertising and sales, it’s good to step back and take a look at your spending before you end up hung-over and penniless on New Year’s Day.
So, like the cautionary spirits who visited Ebenezer Scrooge in Dickens’ classic tale, I present to you the three financial spectres: The Financial Ghost of Christmas Past, The Financial Ghost of Christmas Present and The Financial Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.
The Financial Ghost of Christmas Past
How best to make sure you don’t overspend this Christmas? Look at how you funded Christmas last year and the years before that.
If you whacked everything on a credit card and had repayment hangover which stayed with you until summer than it’s probably best to avoid using the credit card this year.
Or you could always look at the way you used the card and see if you could’ve been a little smarter about it. Did you just use the card you had at the time? Could you have shopped around for a better deal? A lower rate?
The Financial Ghost of Christmas Present
Dickens described the Ghost of Christmas Present as a jolly giant accompanied by a large feast. It’s nice to have a big meal with family and friends at Christmas, but there always seems to be a massive amount of left-overs thrown away.
Maybe think about cutting back, or at least being more pragmatic about the size of your Christmas meal this year. After all, Dickens’ Ghost of Christmas Present was able to change his size to fit into any space – so why not change the size of your meal accordingly?
The Financial Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
Want an incentive not to overspend this Christmas? A gaunt, towering spectre in black robes ought to do it. It was enough to scare Scrooge straight in A Christmas Carol and it might help you this year too.
If you overspend this Christmas, to the extent that it follows you into 2012, then Christmas 2012 is going to look pretty bleak. The third of Dickens’ ghostly apparitions served to show Scrooge that if he didn’t change his ways, things would get a lot worse.
Basically, when you’re spending this Christmas, think about how long you’re going to be paying it all off for and change your ways before it’s too late!
Have you dealt with any of these Xmas ghosts before? Have you done anything differently this year (spent more, less, nothing)? And just for fun, what’s your favorite Christmas movie (the correct answer is Elf or The Grinch)?