It’s no surprise that Christmas is one of the most expensive times of year, and the extra financial strain can be very stressful. If you’re on a tight budget it can be difficult and overwhelming trying to navigate your way through all the chaos. We take a look at ways to reduce the cost with savvy choices, alternative presents, and planning ahead.
There’s no time like the present
The more organised you can be with Christmas, the better. So the earlier you can start, the easier it will be. You’ll be able to scout out the best bargains, save up, and spread the cost. The less time you have to plan, the more you’re likely to end up panic buying. Start by making a list of everyone you want to buy for and set a budget for each person. Then you can browse and pick out the perfect gifts, giving yourself plenty of time to shop around.
Don’t over buy
Whether it’s food or presents, it’s very easy to get overexcited and buy too much. Ordering the food shop online is a good way to prevent you from being lured in by offers, and you’ll know exactly how much you’re spending too. Make sure everything can be frozen or has a good expiry date, so that anything you don’t use doesn’t go to waste.
Try Secret Santa
If you have a big family or friendship group, a secret Santa can be a great way to save. The budget can be more than you’d usually spend on an individual because it stops you having to buy for everybody, and it means that everyone will get one really great present rather than lots of smaller things. Make sure everyone agrees to the budget and then either pull names from a hat or use an online generator if it’ll be difficult to get everyone together before the big day.
Another really good way to keep the cost down is homemade presents. So if you’re a dab hand at knitting or perhaps a bit crafty, giving a homemade gift is much more memorable and people often appreciate the sentiment more. Even if you’re not that creative, whipping up some tasty treats in the kitchen will always go down well! Check out our Alternative Christmas gifts blog for lots more handmade gift ideas.
Get some help
Whether you’re hosting Christmas eve, the big day or any other day, it’s not unreasonable to ask for a bit of help from your guests. Even if you only delegate control of the desserts or wine, it’ll leave you with a little less to worry about and more time to focus on what really matters – the turkey!
Embrace the atmosphere
There’s an abundance of Christmas markets going on in the lead up to Christmas that will make even the biggest Scrooge feel a little merrier. These are often free of charge to visit and there’s no reason you have to spend a lot. Sometimes just sitting with a nice glass of mulled wine soaking up the atmosphere is enough to get in the festive spirit without breaking the bank.
Have you got any other money saving tips that you swear by at Christmas time? We’d love to hear them!
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