With the festive season in full swing, it is very easy to get carried away and lose control of your spending. However, having a magical Christmas doesn’t mean that you have to break the bank and run up an overdraft that will take the whole of next year to clear. In fact, you can have a fantastic Christmas on a budget and start the New Year debt-free. Here’s how:
Make a budget plan
Although sitting down to work out your finances may not sound like the first thing you should do when Christmas is just around the corner, believe us, your wallet will thank you come the New Year. Start off with checking your bank account and find out what your budget is, ensuring that you have enough to pay for the rest of your regular expenses. From there, assess how much money you have left and work out how much you can afford to spend solely on Christmas. Check your drawers and cupboards for shopping vouchers that you could use and if you have saved money for the occasion, work out how much extra you have, sum it all up and calculate how much can be spent on food and drinks, presents, decorations, etc.
Opt for an artificial Christmas tree
Although having a natural Christmas tree can give your home a lovely, fresh scent, there are many pros of going for an artificial one, like the fact that you will be able to use it year after year, and they are much easier to handle once the festivities have ended.
Artificial trees also happen to be cheaper than real ones, so if you are looking for ways to cut costs down this Christmas, choosing a fake tree will definitely help you get there. Plus, if you really don’t want to give up the natural tree scent, you can find sprays that will give you the same results for just a couple of pounds.
Go for free E-cards
Sending Christmas cards is a great tradition however, it can end up being quite costly if you have a long list of friends and family members. Ensuring the cards will arrive on time can also be difficult the closest we get to December 25th. Free E-cards are a great way to cut costs and still send your loved ones Christmas wishes even if there’s only a couple days to go until the main day. If you are after something more personal, then take a photo of you and your family and include it in your festive message to everyone.
Make a list and check it twice
Sticking to a budget always gets easier when a list is involved, especially when trying to organise a big event such as Christmas.
Start off by writing down the names of the people that will be joining you on the big day then choose the menu and work out how much food you really need to buy. Check your cupboards and freezer for goods that haven’t been used and that can be incorporated into the meal plan; that way you won’t end up buying things that you already have.
The day before you plan on doing your big shop check the websites of different supermarkets to find out if any of them have offers on the main items you need and compare prices. Also, don’t forget to check out discount supermarkets as they can be a real godsend when trying to save money and still buy nice goods.
Once at the supermarket, don’t go off the list just because something looks tempting; it is very easy to get caught up in the Christmas food shopping fever and end up buying things that you really don’t need just because they have nice, seasonal packaging.
Set up a Secret Santa
Buying presents for the whole family and all of your friends is expensive, especially because we all want to buy the best of the best for our loved ones. It can also be a bit of a stressful task as the closer we get to the big day, the busier shops tend to get -believe it or not, a lot of people end up doing their Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve- and it is even harder to find those perfect gifts.
Setting up a Secret Santa is a great way to cut down expenses and still treat someone you love. Plus, the fact that you only need to buy one great present will definitely save you a load of stress. For Secret Santa, set a reasonable limit that people can spend on their gift and, if there’s a chance that some of your guests will struggle knowing what to get, start a wish list in which everyone writes down a few gift options for themselves and circulate it among all guests.
Here at Arro, we hope that our tips can help you have not only a budget-friendly, but a very merry Christmas alongside friends and family.