Christmas is right around the corner and unless you have been planning and saving for it all year round, you may be having a sudden panic on how you are going to afford Christmas this year.
Most of us end up in that last minute frenzy of realising there are only a couple of pays left until Christmas… or less. This is a scary thought when you consider the amount of money most households spend on the festive period, from gifts to food, travel and even functions in the lead up to that December 25th arrival.
Thankfully Christmas does not need to send you broke and we have some tips to help you afford Christmas, without having to cut back as much as you may think necessary.
- PLAN AHEAD – Depending on how far out you are reading this, you hopefully have a little time up your sleeve to do some planning. Sit down and work out all your Christmas expenses, including food, presents, travel and drinks, as well as any other Christmas related expenses you may be aware of. When you know what is ahead of you, it can be easier to prepare yourself for the costs.
- BUDGET – Plan how much you can afford to spend and allocate all the expenses you listed with a percentage of that budget. You may want to spend 30% on food and 60% on gifts for example, with the extra 10% going to other things. It depends on your plans this festive period. Once you determine how much you have to spend on what area, you can set your limits, such as cost per head for gifts.
- SHOP AROUND – Most of us end up with a letter box bulging with junk mail this time of year so make use of it and research the best price for gifts, menu items and other necessities. This can save you a lot simply by being prepared before you shop. Never go to the shops without a clear plan or you will over spend.
- CHRISTMAS IS FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS – Instead of spending a fortune on gifts, focus more on the good company and the togetherness and you will cut your costs.
Other tips for saving money on Christmas:
- Do a Secret Santa with family or friends to reduce the number of gifts you buy
- Redeem gift vouchers and discounts from rewards cards for shopping
- Regift unwanted gifts you may have received from others (make sure you don’t regift to the giver)
- Get everyone to bring a plate
- Stock up on gifts during the year
- Shop at outlets
Holly Connors is a freelance writer and blogger at Simplify Create Inspire, with a focus on simplifying life, saving money and getting organised. She also writes a family travel blog with her husband. Holly is a mother of 2 with a background in psychology, although more recently self-employed and enjoying the less conventional side of earning a living. You can also follow her on Facebook, twitter or Instagram.