Christmas is notoriously an expensive time of year, and whilst you might find yourself spending more than you normally would with gifts, food and decorations, it doesn’t mean that you have to enter 2018 with nothing but Selection Boxes and rejected Miniature Heroes to eat.
Here are a few thrifty tips to ensure you avoid overspending at Christmas, and proof that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to have a good time.
Keep Track of your Spending
It is all too easy to lose track when you’re buying bits ‘here and there’ for Christmas. The easiest way to keep track is to do a big online shop, or plan a day when you’re going to do all of your Christmas shopping and keep hold of the receipts. That way, you’re aware of exactly how much you’ve spent and can keep within your budget.
The best way to ensure you don’t spend more than your means is by setting a maximum budget. Of course, you might find yourself creeping over it slightly (with that office Secret Santa you dread every year) but if you have a figure in your head, you’ll know what you can and can’t buy.
No budget tends to mean that you’ll not only overspend but also buy stuff that you don’t really need. Whilst it’s important to treat yourself and loved ones at Christmas, do you honestly need and use everything you buy during the festive period?!
Get on Top of the Retail Tricks
Avoid overspending at Christmas by leaving your shopping til last minute. Really! If you haven’t noticed already, high streets tend to put their sales on a couple days before Christmas – usually after everyone has sorted their Christmas shopping. It means that whatever you have sitting wrapped up under your tree, you could have bought a bit later, for a fraction of the price.
People might joke that you’re playing a dangerous game leaving all of your shopping until the last minute, but if you plan a big shopping day a few days before Christmas then you’ll be able to get everything you need and save yourself a bit of money.
Alternatively, if the thought of shopping at the last minute really makes you uncomfortable, try and buy your presents in the Black Friday sales that often run for the entire weekend.
Cut Down on Costs Elsewhere
Anticipating a little overindulgence at Christmas is totally normal. A great way of getting around it is to cut down costs elsewhere in your day-to-day life to save you that bit of extra cash that Christmas requires. Energy bills costs us thousands each year, but have you had a look at how you can cut yours down?
One way people are sometimes unaware of is making the switch from regular Halogen light bulbs to LED alternatives. LED bulbs are just as powerful and shine just as brightly but use a lot less energy, meaning they are friendlier towards both the environment and your bank account.
There are plenty of colour and design choices, so you can’t really go wrong with having them installed. If you haven’t assessed your energy bills in a while, it is definitely worth taking an afternoon to look over them all – chances are you are paying more than you need to be!
Have a ‘Potluck’ Christmas Meal
Your turn to host Christmas dinner this year? Don’t panic, you don’t have to pay for everything on your own. Hosting Christmas can be a lovely feeling and there’s nothing better than having the family altogether, however, cooking and paying for everything can be a worry.
Why not announce a ‘Potluck’ themed Christmas dinner, assigning a dish per family member. This way, you can bring together an absolute feast and have fun trying everyone’s different dishes. There is nothing better than a table full of home cooked goodness and encouraging everyone to muck in makes the feast that little bit more rewarding!