Christmas is officially around the corner, and if you haven’t yet completed your Christmas shopping, or you’re worried about your budget, this post is for you. Here are some things to think about if you’re aiming to save money this Christmas:
Save or Borrow?
For most people, it can be difficult to pay for the holidays using just their salary from December. We’re still six weeks out, so the more money you can put away this month, the better your financial position will be. When you borrow money to cover Christmas, you’ll usually be paying fees and interest. Not to mention, starting 2018 with Christmas debt is just plain depressing.
Most households spend more than $1000 for Christmas. If you’re aiming to keep your Christmas spend low, the first step is to make a list of the friends and family members you’ll need to buy a gift for, and allocate a specific amount of money for each of them. If you’re having Christmas lunch or dinner at your house, you’ll need to consider how many people will come over, and think about how much you will spend on food and drinks. Often, friends and family members will offer to bring food. This is a good way to reduce the stress and save some money, so take them up on their offer- even if they’ll just bring a bottle of wine or a dessert, this will make life easier for you.
Personalized holiday cards can get expensive, so look for a website that allows you to design your own Christmas card for a reasonable price. Right now, Basic Invite is offering 30% off with coupon code: holi30, so this may be the perfect option for you and your family.
Unexpected gifts can also throw off your budget, and someone extra inevitably turns up over the holidays. It’s a good idea to prepare for these by working them into your budget and getting a couple of generic gifts like gift cards, a bottle of wine, or a box of chocolates.
Avoid shopping on Christmas Eve, and instead, make a list of potential gifts for friends and family members. Keep an eye out for these in the weeks leading up to Christmas, and you may grab a bargain by shopping at sales over the next few weeks.
Just as you’re worried about your Christmas budget, it’s likely that friends and family members are feeling the same. Why not suggest that you all take it easy on your wallets this year, and set up a secret Santa instead of the usual multiple gifts? You could even choose to have a “children only” rule, and only buy gifts for the kids.
Have you started shopping for Christmas yet? What are your top saving tips? Let me know in the comments below.