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Christmas on a Budget: 10 Ways To Save Money This Holiday Season

Christmas on a Budget

Christmas on a Budget: 10 Ways To Save Money This Holiday Season

Show-stopping pavlovas, perfectly glazed ham, carols by candlelight, and Boxing Day barbeques are just a few traditions that make Christmas a memorable affair. With the festive season around the corner, you probably feel excited but might also be dreading the financial expenses. There are so many fancy decorations and countless gifts to buy.

Corporations have done an excellent job of commercialising this holiday, enticing people to spend more than they can afford. But at the end of the day, you have to remind yourself that Christmas isn’t about material things. Rather it’s an occasion to spend quality time with your friends and family.

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Here are some ways you can enjoy your Christmas without breaking the bank.

Set a Budget

There’s no limit to how much you can spend on Christmas. Instead of draining your savings, it’s better to set a budget. Take into account how much you have to spend on gifts, food, decorations, and other expenses.

Start Early

There’s a higher chance of things selling out as it gets closer to Christmas. Why go through the last-minute panic? We suggest starting your holiday shopping as soon as you can. This gives you plenty of time to find the perfect gifts at reasonable prices.

DIY Gifts

You don’t necessarily have to buy the most luxurious gifts for your loved ones. Why not give DIY gifts? From candles to brownie mix, you can affordably make many things at home.

Switch Energy Provider

From covering your Christmas tree in twinkling lights to hanging up festive lights outside, you can expect your electricity bills to spike up because of increased usage. That’s why it’s the perfect time to compare gas and electric providers and switch to a better-priced plan.

Make Lists

Whether you are going grocery or home decor shopping, make a list and stick to it. This will prevent you from buying unnecessary items and impulse purchases.

Plan a Gift Exchange Game

Buying gifts for all your friends and family can become quite expensive. What if we told you that you could get away with buying only one gift? Rather than a traditional gift exchange, plan a Secret Santa or White Elephant party to save money.

Reuse Packaging

If you are a frequent online shopper, then you probably have plenty of boxes and packaging lying around. Instead of wasting money on wrapping paper and boxes, reuse these materials to pack your gifts. It’s not only cheaper but also better for the environment.

Make the Most of Online Discounts

It’s no secret that ecommerce has exploded in the past few years. Not only do you have a plethora of options to choose from, but many products are also available at competitive prices. Moreover, online sellers are frequently offering their products at discounted prices. Instead of paying full price, make the most of such deals.

Host a Potluck

Are you planning to host a Christmas party or lunch for your friends and family? Even if you are inviting a small group, you’ll end up spending a significant amount on food, drinks and decorations. We recommended hosting a potluck-style gathering by asking your guests to bring a plate. In addition to reducing the overall cost, you will also save yourself from cooking all day.

Limit Your Expenses

Since you’ll be spending a lot more this month, how about reducing your expenses to make up the difference? Whether you enjoy getting an expensive coffee every morning or dining out, try avoiding such spending leading up to the holiday season.

Wrapping Up – Christmas on a Budget

Take this time to reflect on the birth of Jesus and appreciate meaningful relationships. Hopefully, the above tips will help you avoid a financial crunch this festive season.

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Gifts, decorations, nights out… it’s all part of the festive fun, but the costs can add up. Here are our top tips for saving money at Christmas.

Christmas money-saving tips

  • Make a Christmas budget. …
  • Prioritize your Christmas purchases. …
  • Agree not to buy Christmas presents this year. …
  • Beware of Christmas ‘deals’ …
  • Use price trackers to decide when to buy gifts. …
  • Spend less on your Christmas dinner. …
  • Don’t buy new wrapping paper. …
  • Try Secret Santa with a small budget.

We love Christmas just as much as the next person (arguably even more so). But, the one thing that can dampen our Yuletide spirit is thinking about the costs.

Some may think Christmas is all about spending thousands on amazing presents, decorations, and food. But many are starting to go against the trend and get smart with their festive finances.

With a sprinkling of budgeting advice and an added dash of creativity, you’ll be able to have the Christmas you’ve always dreamed of. All without the bank balance of your nightmares.

Make a Christmas budget

  1. When doing Christmas on a budget, you’ll have to make… a budget. It might be painful, but check your bank balance to work out how much cash you have to play with.
  2. Use our budgeting guide to help establish how much you’ve got going spare and base your festive plans on that. Make sure to consider your usual expenses, too.
  3. If you need extra money at Christmas, consider cutting back on a few luxuries, taking on additional shifts at your part-time job, or trying to make a quick buck.

Prioritize your Christmas purchases.

  1. We all want a meal with all the trimmings, a first-class degree, and the latest games console for Christmas. But sadly, the overdraft won’t stretch far enough.
  2. Particularly when you’re doing Christmas on the cheap, you’ll never be able to fulfill everything in your ideal festive fantasy. Grab a pen and paper and start thinking about what’s important this year.
  3. You won’t be able to buy a present for everyone you know or afford to go to every Christmas night out you’ve been invited to. But once you’ve worked out what you want to get at Christmas, you can start thinking about how to make it work.

Agree not to buy Christmas presents this year.

  1. It sounds corny, but it’s true: if your friends or family care about you, they won’t mind skipping the gifts this year (or any other year, for that matter!).
  2. Most people are sympathetic to the financial plight of students (especially other students). If buying presents will cause you some money troubles, people will understand.
  3. This deal works best with your fellow students, as there’s every chance they’ll face the same predicament. Asking them not to buy gifts for you shows that you’re not just looking to hoard the presents, and could take a load off their mind too.
  4. And, if you and your friends and family decide not to buy gifts this year, it has the added benefit of reducing each person’s carbon footprint.

Beware of Christmas ‘deals.’

  1. With festive joy arriving in shops everywhere, getting sucked in by “special offers” and “unmissable deals” can be tempting.
  2. It might look like retailers are spreading the festive cheer, but the truth is that they’re trying to stop you from saving money at Christmas.
  3. If you are looking for gifts, remember that there are still some good deals out there. You can find some real money savers in our deals section.

Use price trackers to decide when to buy gifts.

  1. In the fight against retailers trying to persuade you to spend your hard-earned cash, Idealo is one of your most faithful allies.
  2. All you have to do is enter the product you’re interested in buying. Not only will Idealo show you how the price has changed over time, but it’ll also tell you where the cheapest place to buy it is.
  3. Camelcamelcamel does a similar thing. It lets you enter the Amazon URL of a product to see how its price has changed over time on the site.
  4. While getting your Christmas shopping done early is admirable, a glance at whether a product’s price is on an upward or downward trend helps you decide whether to wait a few weeks before splashing out.
  5. But don’t leave it too late, or you’ll miss the Christmas delivery cut-off dates.

Spend less on your Christmas dinner.

  1. Keen to have a traditional Christmas dinner without spending a fortune? It turns out that it’s possible to have the full spread for less than £2.50 per head.
  2. You heard us right. That’s roast meat (or you could use a veggie alternative) with potatoes, carrots, peas, Yorkshire puddings, and gravy. All for less than a takeaway coffee.
  3. Check out our guide to making Christmas dinner on a budget for the recipe.

Don’t buy new wrapping paper.

  1. Not buying new wrapping paper has two main benefits: it saves money, and it avoids waste.
  2. Wrapping paper may look nice, but it’s not usually a very eco-friendly way to wrap gifts. Some wrapping paper can be recycled, but it’s often not recyclable (especially when decorated with glitter or foil).
  3. With this in mind, buying new wrapping paper for Christmas presents is unnecessary.
  4. Instead, reuse an old gift bag, or use the box that the gift came in.
  5. You could even upcycle old clothes you no longer need or want, turning them into fabric gift wrap. It will look lovely and can be reused to wrap presents for years.

Try Secret Santa with a small budget.

  1. Every December, you can buy Christmas presents for family, friends, colleagues, classmates… the list adds up (as do the costs). If you want to buy gifts but don’t want to spend much, do Secret Santa instead.
  2. In case you’re unfamiliar with Secret Santa, it involves putting everyone’s names into a hat, each person pulling one out. Whoever you pluck from the hat is who you buy a gift for, but nobody else. There’s usually a set budget for gifts, and it tends to remain anonymous.
  3. Agree amongst each friend/family group who wants to get involved, throw your names in, and decide on a maximum spend you’re all comfortable with. This way, everyone gets a nice gift, and no one has to spend much.
  4. If you’re looking for the perfect, cheap Secret Santa present, try gifts that cost less than a fiver. Some good examples are a framed photo and a jar of their favorite sweets.

Buy cheap gift cards on eBay.

  1. Credit: Tana888 – Shutterstock
  2. It’s hard to go wrong with gift cards as presents. And, we know one very good way of buying them for cheaper prices.
  3. eBay is a great place for buying and selling unwanted gift cards, with some going for as much as 20% less than their retail value. If you’re stuck on what to buy someone but know they get all their clothes from ASOS, you can get them an ASOS gift card at a fraction of the price.
  4. You can still use the gift card trick even if you know what you want to get for someone. Just search through eBay for a gift card at the shop you’re looking to buy from; use that to buy the gift, and voilà! You’ve saved yourself some money.

Make Christmas presents by hand.

  1. From making your own snow globes to curating a photo scrapbook, many homemade present ideas will cost you very little.
  2. Even if you’re not blessed with a creative flair, nothing can stop you from whipping up some simple creations in the kitchen.
  3. You could bake a huge tray of delicious treats and give them to everyone on your list. If you’re stuck for ideas, why not try our chocolate truffle recipe?

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Christmas on a Budget: 10 Ways To Save Money This Holiday Season

Last update on 2024-05-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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