How to Budget for Christmas
Christmas is not a cheap time of year, particularly if you have kids or a big family/friendship group. So, to help out I thought I would write a post on how to budget for Christmas. It’s a lot easier than you think, you just need to be prepared and be willing to say no.
Write a present idea list
When looking for presents before you go out and shop, write a list of ideas for each person. This is so you don’t just buy presents that may be outside of your budget for Christmas, or that aren’t relevant to the person. This will help you to not only get a present that will make the recipient truly happy but also will stop you from over-spending.
Source items secondhand
Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean you have to buy new things every year. You can table decorations and Christmas decorations secondhand from charity shops, thrift stores, flea markets and online stores like eBay and Gumtree. Presents, decor and extras like Christmas plates or lights etc
What can you make yourself?
Do you really need to buy Tescos mince pies and ASDA scotch eggs? Have you ever tried making them yourself? Maybe involve the kids to make a fun activity out of it. Why not make your own Christmas cards, wreath, decorations etc. You don’t need to go crazy and get £8 tinsel strands when you can you make your own for much less, and involve family and friends.
Spread the love, not the cash
I am a traditionalist but I don’t send Christmas cards anymore, this is because I would rather spread the love and joy of Christmas in person, via a phone call or FaceTime. This is much more personal than a simple ‘To XXX, Merry Christmas, Love Ellie’ in a card, which is the mirror of about 100 others I’ve sent this year. Save money and spread the love.
Use newspaper instead of wrapping paper
One 60p newspaper will get a lot further than a £1 roll of Christmas wrapping paper. It may not look as festive and Christmassy as everyone else’s, but it’s only going to go in the recycling after it comes off! And it is recyclable, another plus.
Shop in cheaper supermarkets
A lot of people I know like to shop in M&S and Waitrose over Christmas as they feel that these shops offer much better quality food. However, whilst it may be nice to get the bigger things like the Turkey and the wine from these stores, I highly recommend buying the other food items like fruit, vegetable, gravy, stuffing etc from cheaper superstores like Aldi and Lidl’s. The cost will be much less, but the quality won’t dwindle either.
Re-use not Re-Buy
We all love to dress up one Christmas, for work parties or simply on Christmas Day. But there’s no need to buy a new outfit every year. Re-use an outfit you already have, or buy one from a charity shop or flea market, rather than buying an outfit you’ll likely only ever wear once or twice.
Budgeting is more about sourcing items carefully rather than spending for convenience. Always have a plan, and plan ahead. Don’t leave it until the last minute and try to think about involving the family and friends as much as possible.