It can be a very costly time of year, but Christmas is always a wonderful time of year where family and friends come together to celebrate this festive season with food, drink and lots of love. So if you struggle to budget for the Christmas period, here are some great tips for making it a little easier on your bank balance.
Set A Budget For Gifts
As you a child, you associate Christmas mainly to do with presents. But as you get older, you realize that it’s more about spending time with loved ones, than about spending lots of money. Set a budget when it comes to the gifts and don’t worry about everyone having an equal amount of gifts because some presents can cost a lot more than others. Don’t buy for everyone under the sun either, especially if you know they won’t buy you a present back. If you start buying for everyone you know, you’ll drive yourself into more debt.
DIY Your Gifts
If money is a little tight, why not make your own gifts? They can be more personal to those you are giving it too, and they can also be a lot cheaper on the bank balance. Gifts that hold more meaning to them will be appreciated a lot more than those that really have been given a lot of thought.
There’s plenty of help and advice online now that can guide you on DIY gifts so if you want to save money this Christmas, make the gifts yourself!
Do A Secret Santa
If you really want to cut down on the gifts, why not suggest to the family that you do a secret Santa. This is perfect for when the kids have grown up, and it will save money for the whole family. Do it with friends too if possible and any other family members that want to get involved. Set a budget and it’ll be a nice surprise for everyone.
Buy Your Food In Bulk
Instead of buying the food as and when you need it, try and buy all your food in bulk a week or so before the festive period. This can save you from the craziness of last-minute shoppers hitting the shops and will also save you a considerable amount of money. Try and buy more frozen food and non-perishables if your fridge space isn’t huge.
If you’re holding a dinner party or buffet, why not ask your friends and family members to bring a dish or two? This will end up saving you more money and will come in handy if you don’t have much storage space for food either.
Look For Huge Discounts In-Store And Online
Businesses will also offer discounts in the lead up to Christmas, not so much during the festive period but before all of the hype begins. Amazon is a great site for finding great discounts on branded products. Some businesses may also offer discounts and rewards for loyalty card holders so if it’s free to do so, sign up to these loyalty schemes to take advantage of these deals.
Take advantage of Black Friday that takes place at the end of November which is perfect for buying last-minute gifts for a fraction of the price.
Be Careful With Credit Cards And Loans
It’s always advised not to borrow money over the festive period because this can make it easy for you to spend more money than you planned to. If you have to though, go with credit cards over loans and have a 0% interest on whatever you use. No one wants to buy interest so why should you on a loan or credit card, when there’s plenty that don’t charge interest. If you need a loan, you can read more here on what’s available to you.
These options can help ease any excessive spending up front and will also help spread the cost so that you don’t have to worry about it until the new year.
Get Cashback On Your Expenditures
If you’re spending money online, you can get cashback on some of the things you buy. There are extensions that you can add to your browser like Honey that can earn you cash back or apply discounts to your basket. You might as well make a bit of money back where possible, so it’s worth having if you do most of your shopping for Christmas, online.
Fake The Tree
A real Christmas tree can end up costing a lot of money each year so instead of wasting trees and covering your living area in pine needles, why not buy a fake tree? It’ll cost a lot less, and you can reuse it every year and also avoid the mess. Reuse any decorations instead of buying new ones and get some staple home decor pieces that you can get out every year.
Send Digital Cards
Sending cards in the post when you have a big list of people to send cards to, can get very expensive, especially when you need to pay for postage too. Instead of sending physical cards, why not try digital ones? Many people have the internet now, so it’s great to take advantage of technology and save yourself some money in the process.
Check Out The Local Entertainment
To keep the kids occupied, you might be thinking about things you can do outside the home in the run-up to Christmas and that itself could be costly. But your local area might have some free events on near you such as a Santa’s Grotto run by the local shopping center. There might even be a free pantomime performance by your local arts group so be sure to sign up to any local groups online or visit your local community center to find out what’s going on.
Whatever you’re doing for Christmas, make sure you relax and spend time with those who are important to you. Money doesn’t buy you happiness or make the memories so don’t worry too much about the materialistic stuff.