This year I have decided to boycott Christmas. Well not entirely. I’ll buy something for the children but as we’re off to see family overseas our presence is their present. I expect they’ll think me Grinchy but given my occupation I think they’ll understand. I never did get the whole Christmas consumer blow-out. It was great as a kid when the magic of Christmas was still in the air but as an adult I found it all a bit much. My mother would get hugely stressed out by the pressure of having to celebrate a perfect Christmas, I’d get a headache dealing with traffic, crowds and trying to find suitable gifts because I’d invariably left it to the last minute and then there was the awkwardness of receiving gifts from someone you didn’t buy for it. This year I’m dispensing with all that business. I’ll be celebrating on a beach in Maui with my Canadian family most of whom I haven’t seen in two years. Bonus, one of my best friends will be there with her two kids.
Because not everyone is as stingy as me or lucky enough be heading off on a holiday in lieu of Christmas here’s my suggestions for preventing a budget blow-out. You can watch the video below as well where I discuss this further with TVOne’s Nadine Chalmers on the Breakfast show.
Amanda Morrall is a New Zealand based personal finance expert. Her first book Money Matters was published in 2013 by Penguin Random House in NZ.