Christmas is just another depressing bill for some
"Christmas is bankrupting me" is a phrase I have heard many times in jest by friends, but there is always an element of truth in any " just joking!". The truth is I know people who have become so in debt through accumulating bills from spending due to social pressure to give their family everything that is expected, it is truly scary. Even the most poor people can't bear to look in to their children's eyes and think they will be giftless when Christmas morning arrives. " I have no money!" doesn't register in a child's brain if they have no recognition of the value of money.
Times of recession
The problem is that now we have a generation of children who were born when parents could borrow and buy them what ever they want, so that is what they expect. Sweeping generalisation there and I know many people do not go over the top, but whether you over do it every Christmas or you are frugal, you need to know how you can afford Christmas with out Christmas bankrupting your family. A home that has had its rent or mortgage paid is far more important in life than Christmas. Even if you have always been reasonable in your Christmas spending the social pressure is still there to go financially broke, with people regularly bragging they had to stick 1000s on the credit cards for their little cherubs.
Recession has meant many families are struggling to pay menial bills now.Some have the added pressure of paying serious debts that they thought they would always be able to pay off but with less income are struggling to clear that debt off. People have in other words had their bubble burst, but instead of having children like those that grew up before them, not expecting much, we have children who feel it is normal to have designer clothes, Blackberry phones, Ipads, Laptops and all that jazz. I grew up playing mud pies, making perfume from flowers( really messy and fails badly), we made dens and kirby with a 99c football. Nothing we owned needed to cost more than a couple of dollars.
The problem being is that the reason that Christmas went on the credit cards is because of lack of money and bad budgeting. This can only mean that by the time next Christmas comes along, it will happen all over again and the debt mountain will increase even more, or worse still, to try and cope with the unaffordable debt each month, people go and stick it all on the mortgage. Unsecured debt to secured debt is only an idea put across from your banks because it gives them an asset to chase, never ever secure your debt on your home from an unsecured debt.
Plan your next Christmas and stay out of debt
Christmas really needs to come after you have paid all of your essential bills, rent/mortgage, food, electric, gas, water and taxes. Here is a way to work out what you can reasonably spend on Christmas with out getting in to trouble down the line, because debt really isn't a comfortable place to be or easy to get out of.
1) Sit down and write all of your bills down for every month then times those by 12.
2) Estimate what you spend on groceries a week and times that by 52. You can get an idea of that by looking at your bank statements and seeing how much you spend on groceries.
3) Think of all the bills that don't come in regularly, such as Car Tax, M.O.T, Car repairs, Tv licence, Vet bills, any other bills you know you regularly have but are not a monthly expense. Add those up and total them up with your other two figures worked out from the above.
You will now have a yearly figure for all of your outgoings, which you should realistically have a cushion of money incase any of those estimated are higher than guessed.
Now add up all of your income and minus the yearly outgoings, then divide that figure by 12 months, that is your disposable income, that is what you have left for leisure, birthday gifts and Christmas gifts. If that ends up as a negative figure or not enough to cover what you would like to spend then you need ideas on how to raise more money by working. You can find extra jobs on line or around the area that you live, to pay for Christmas.
Some places you can earn extra money if you are wanting to reduce debt
There are a number of places on line that you could earn extra income from if you want to pay off debt earlier, raise more money for your family or if you wish to start a project.
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