Rising utility costs, fuel and food pose problems throughout the year, but never more so than at Christmas time. As families are struggling to pay their usual bills and put food on the table the strain added from buying presents and all the extra holiday essentials, many individuals feel they are drowning in a sea of financial worries. If you are on a low income there are a few ways you can lighten the load, read our tips below for a great Christmas that won’t add to your financial woes.
Don’t Go Overboard with the Food
Many households buy trolley loads of food for the Christmas period. Rather than only getting meals the trolley is stuffed full of readymade puddings, sweets and other non-essential foods. Yes, it is a time for indulgence but you don’t want to avoid paying your council tax just so everyone gets full of cake. Plan out the meals for the Christmas period and make your own sweets and cakes. The cost of the ingredients will be cheaper than buying readymade and it will go a lot further.
Think about how much food usually gets eaten and how much ends in the bin. Avoid this waste by only buying the amount of food that you really need. Buy a smaller turkey, use the leftovers for meals on the following day and don’t over buy. Most of the shops will be open again on December 27.
Talk to Your Family
You will obviously want to buy children presents, but adults can do without. Speak to your friends and family and explain you’ll only be buying gifts for the youngsters. Everyone will understand and you’ll probably find that there will be some relieved faces as they too are likely to be feeling the pinch themselves.
Rather than using your pay checks to buy the gifts for the children try and raise some extra money from your home. Spend a weekend having a big clear out, get into the loft and into the garage too and see what you can find. All of the items you find can be sold on the Internet via auction sites such as eBay or even on Facebook to your friends. Use all the money to buy the new presents and save your wages for the usual bills and the food.
Stop Sending Cards
We all know that cards are not environmentally friendly so stop sending them out. They get looked at once or twice and are then either recycled or thrown into a cupboard for years to come. Send Christmas emails or Christmas greetings on your social networks. While this won’t save a huge amount of money it will save you a few pennies and it’s much kinder for the environment.
Check Your Benefit Entitlement
There are many households in the UK that fail to claim the benefits they’re entitled to. Call the Income support contact number to see if you can get any additional income that will help you cope with the extra spending that comes with this time of year.