Christmas is a time for joy, religious celebration, and togetherness, but there is no getting away from the fact that Christmas can also be an expensive period. Decorating the home, buying gifts for family and friends, hosting dinners, and attending parties can make a dent in your bank account.
7 Ways to Celebrate Christmas on a Budget
Of course, we all want to indulge in some treats and relax over the festive period, but there are ways to do this without leaving yourself in debt when it is all over. If you are concerned about how you will celebrate Christmas on a tight budget, here are seven ideas to consider:
Set yourself a budget
Your first step is to work out how much you can afford to spend this year, whether on gifts, food, drink, or anything else. When you have a figure, you need to track all your purchases in a spreadsheet to avoid going over budget.
Write a list
With your budget finalized, you can now make a list of all the food, drink, and gifts that you need to buy. Make a note of how much each item is likely to cost and work out if you can afford everything and still meet your budget. If you are over, you can quickly identify where you may be able to cut costs.
Give handmade gifts and cards
Rather than buying gifts and cards, why not give handmade and personal gifts this year? Often, we spend a lot of money on products that people don’t need or want. A handmade gift is not only cheaper but often more meaningful. You could knit a scarf or a pair of gloves, bake some cookies, or create a piece of art.
Try Secret Santa
If you need to buy gifts for lots of friends and family members, you might be able to save money by arranging a Secret Santa gift exchange. Place everybody’s name into a hat and ask everyone involved to choose a name. They then buy that person a gift with an approximate price guideline. You can focus all your attention on getting one person something they will love.
Do more online shopping
The internet has made shopping more convenient (not to mention the money you save on gas and parking) and made it much easier to research products and compare prices. You can also save money if you are able to find ebay promo codes and promotion codes for other major brands. You can further maximize your savings on postage by asking for gifts to be sent directly to the recipient and buying multiple items from the same store.
- Use cheaper wrapping paper
Wrapping paper can be expensive when you are buying bulk, but when we consider that it is ripped up, torn, and ultimately discarded, it is not worth blowing the budget on. Hunt for some deals around local discount stores to get the best price.
Concentrate on giving love, not gifts
If you are feeling the financial pinch of Christmas, the chances are that your family and friends are as well. In fact, lots of people give gifts out of obligation or routine, but what we look forward to is being able to spend time with the people we care about. Suggest to your family and friends that rather than giving gifts, you will all club together to put on a Christmas party so everyone shares the costs and you can focus on making memories, not spending money.