Christmas can be an expensive time for many families but it is really important to keep perspective. Many children do not add the same materialistic expectations onto their presents that adults do. I know of parents who add up the value of every present just to ensure that they have spent the same on each child. This is not my approach I buy what the children have asked for (within reason) but don’t feel I need to make it exactly the same. My one exception is making sure they all have the same amount of presents in their stocking as we take turns opening them and so it needs to be the same in number, but not necessarily in value. It is still possible to have Chrisstmas on a budget.
I have just shared some of my Christmas money saving tips on the radio and these were what I included.
- Look for Advent calendars in the sale from Dec 1st. Many of the beauty or candle ones get slashed in price. Just remember where you hide it! A beaauty one could have all the gifts re wrapped and popped in a stocking.
- Set a budget for each person and stick to it.
- If you have a great skill or a gift of time use it. Maybe offer to babysit for a friend as their gift. If you bake, make a lovely home-made cake. They beat shop bought in a flash.
- To decorate your home use natures finest. Find some pinecones and grab some glitter spray. For other ideas check out this post. Make decorations like my rag wreath for under £5.
- Make your own food hampers, my grandads love local ale and chocolates. I buy local where I can, check out local markets for unique gifts.
- Win Christmas – yes really! You can find Advent competitions running from Dec 1st and they often have great prizes. Especially local competitions.
- Check charity shops. In the past I have picked up brand new unopened games and even premium perfumes.
- The supermarkets have great wine deals on at the moment including 25% off when buying six or more bottles. Just put them away so you don’t drink them all before Christmas Day!
- Cashback sites ensure you get some money back even if you end up paying full price or a product. This year I have got over £200 back by using TopCashBack. All you do is shop online like usual but you get cash back.
All of these tips will save you money on Christmas this year, because you should not be paying off this Christmas next year. There is nothing wrong with having Christmas on a budget. Then start next year by sorting out your finances so you hopefully don’t find yourself in a similar position next year. For some people an IVA may enable them to get back in control of their money but ensure you take good advice. Creditfix – Trust Deeds work with individuals to help them plan their financial future.
If you can’t afford the big splurge of spending in November and December plan to save money each month. Put it in the bank and keep it separate from other money. Christmas is the same date each year and therefore no-one should be letting it creep up on them.