For many people, Christmas is known as the most wonderful time of the year. However, for some that joy is masked by financial worries. Christmas day signifies gifts, decorations and food. All of which can cost a pretty penny.
This time of the year can be very stressful for parents of young children, older adults by themselves or students trying to make ends meet.
Here are five handy tips to help your budget so Christmas can be the celebration it is meant to be.
- Secret Santa
Buying presents for everyone who’s important in your life could be expensive and time consuming. Get a group together, whether is your siblings, work colleagues or friends and organize a secret santa. You can decide on a budget that works for everyone, in this way everyone gets a present and you have a limit on how much to spend that you have to stick by.
2. Newspaper wrapping
This one may not save you tons, but a little bit here and there. Instead of spending money on a special festivity wrapping paper; use any old newspapers instead. It also helps the environment so it’s a win-win.
3. Don’t Overbuy Food.
Unfortunately, this one is easier said than done and it also only applies to whoever is actually cooking the Christmas dinner. The Independent reported that in 2015 that over 4 million Christmas dinners are wasted each year in the UK alone. That is people’s money going straight down the drain, let alone the excess waste. Before doing the big food shop, get a heads up from everyone about how much they will actually eat and what they want. That way, there should be less food wastage and also less stress for the Christmas chef!
4. Make a list and start shopping early!
Some of the best Christmas deals come just afterwards. Lots of shops have huge rollbacks on boxing day and throughout January. Buying ahead (even if it’s 12 months ahead!) can help minimise stress during the build-up to the big day and can ultimately save you a lot of money. Also making a list of who are you buying for and what you are buying to them can be a life saver. There is nothing worse than realising you’ve forgotten to buy someone a gift on Christmas Eve!
5. Travelling on Christmas?
‘Christmas’ means spending time with the family and the loved ones, no matter the distance. This could be one of the most expensive parts of Christmas if you are very far away from home. Booking your tickets with weeks in advance can save a huge amount compared to booking them just a week before. Going back home shouldn’t be stressful and it gives you something to look forward too.
Sub-edited by Natacha Andueza