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Planning Christmas on a Budget

20 December 2022

Christmas is a magical time of year but too often, people let the excitement get the better of them and they then find that they have spent more than they can afford. This year, more than ever, it is important to set a budget when it comes to Christmas spending but how can you do this and ensure that you resist the urge of spending more money than you need to?

1. Speak With Friends and Family

It can be too easy to spend over the top when it comes to friends and family but one simple conversation might be all it takes to bring your budget under control. A simple conversation can lead to you agreeing to a budget to spend on each other, it might also help to solve a spending problem for others who are struggling and you could even agree to stop purchasing presents for the adults in your life. So, have a conversation as you might be surprised at how much it can help.

2. Create a Budget

This might seem like the easiest thing to do but it can prove difficult to stick to it. To do this, create a list that includes all those that you purchase a gift for and then put a budget alongside them. If you are hosting Christmas dinner then set an amount per person on food and drink and if possible, you could begin putting money aside from the start of the year to help ease the financial burden when Christmas does arrive.

3. Give Alternative Gifts

Don’t get caught up in the shopping fever of needing to buy something for every special person in your life. Christmas gifts don’t have to be shop-bought – sometimes a more personal home-made gift can be just as well received.

Home baking is an excellent option as a festive treat, because it’s relatively inexpensive and easy to make, and even if you’re not all that great at cooking, your recipient will appreciate the thought and effort you put into making them something special.

Another thing that’s easy to do is give a voucher for babysitting or gardening services. This way, they’ll be able to do something they love while someone takes care of their children or their garden for them!

4. Save Money

Paying for Christmas all in one go can cripple your finances so it makes sense to save. You will need to be disciplined but the earlier you begin saving, the more money you have and the less you will need to save if you give yourself less time. Consider Christmas to be a bill that you have to pay and set money aside but make sure you are realistic and only save what you can afford.

5. Plan Ahead for next year

You don’t always have to purchase Christmas-related items in the weeks and months leading up to the festive period. After Christmas, there are some amazing sales on Christmas items including wrapping paper, cards, decorations and more and this is the time to purchase them. It might seem too far in advance, especially as the excitement of Christmas has only just fizzled out for another year but once you get to Christmas the following year, you’ll soon realise how much you have saved.

The same can also be said for gifts because although we have Black Friday sales in the lead-up to Christmas, it doesn’t always mean greater savings. Therefore, keep an eye out for deals throughout the year and pick up gifts when they are on offer, even if it is months in advance as this will also help to save you money.

They might say that Christmas is a time for giving but that doesn’t mean you have to spend more than you need to. With some planning and budgeting, as well as conversations with friends and family, you might be surprised at how much you can save.