As crazy as it might seem, Christmas isn’t that far away. With just over two months to go, cards, gifts, and decorations are starting to appear in shops, and gifts guides are being published. Christmas preparation seems to start earlier every year. Where once it was impossible to buy a Christmas card before Halloween, they are now in the shops before the back to school aisles have been cleared. One of the main reasons for this is financial. Shops are keen to cash in on Christmas spending for as long as possible, and consumers are looking for as many chances to save money as they can find. If you are one of the many families facing Christmas on a budget this year, here are some tips to help you have a magical time, without breaking the bank.
Manage Your Money
An awful lot of us haven’t got a clue what’s going on in our bank accounts. You might ask “do student loans affect credit score?” You might not know how much your debts are costing you, what your monthly outgoings add up to, or how much money you can afford to spend on Christmas. Before planning your Christmas on a budget, take a good look at your finances and work out what you can afford.
Start Shopping Now
Many people facing Christmas on a budget avoid shopping until the last minute, thinking it gives them the time to save. But, this can mean that you miss out on the best deals and end up spending more than you need to because you are rushed. Start shopping now, and you can take your time to bargain hunt, wait for sales and offers and spread the cost out.
Agree Not to Buy Gifts
You could easily get carried away and buy presents for all of your friends and family. Massively overspending on things that people probably don’t even want as you go. So, make deals with your friends and family not to buy presents, or to only buy for children. If you do want to buy gifts, agree on a price limit, or consider setting up a secret Santa so that everyone in your friendship circle only has to buy one gift. You should only be spending money on immediate family and very close friends.
Create Homemade Gifts
Homemade gifts are thoughtful, unique and much cheaper than buying presents. Gifts like homemade jam and chocolate truffles can be made cheaply in bulk and even made in advance and frozen until you need them. Just be careful not to overspend on the packaging.
Other gifts that you can make include thoughtful cards, decorations, crafts like photo frames, scrapbooks, audio playlists, and Christmas cakes.
Christmas decorations can be very expensive, and it’s easy to get carried away with the festive spirit. Making your own decorations is much cheaper and a fantastic way to get into the festive mood. If you’ve got kids, get them involved with making salt dough decorations and paper chains while you eat mince pies and watch Christmas films.