Christmas can be one of the happiest times of the year, as it is a time of homecoming, celebration, an opportunity to connect with friends and family. However, all of that holiday cheer comes with a large, literal price tag. From Christmas tree shopping to gift-buying, there are many areas where money can go flying out of your pocket, without you keeping track of it. Here are some financial tips and tricks to have a Jolly Holly Christmas this season.
1. Make a budget
During the Christmas season, there are many areas in which money needs to be spent – meaningful gifts, fancy dinners and family parties, to name a few. Making a budget can help you avoid overspending. You can establish a general spending cap, or try allocating a specific amount to each person on your gift list.
2. Make a shopping list
Avoid stopping by the mall just for window-shopping – this can lead to making poorly planned purchases and blowing your budget. Instead, try making an exact plan on what you need to buy and stick to this list on your Christmas shopping. With online shopping being a huge convenience, you do a little online research to get a rough estimate how much each gift will cost and then plan your expenditures accordingly. Make sure to keep within your budget. Watch out for sales through the papers and internet and hunt down these bargains!
3. Shop online
Another great way to save money over Christmas is to shop online – through your phone on the way to work, before you sleep, any time of the day! Perusing the internet for value buys can save you not only cash but time, directly whenever you find great deals; it can also save you the gas expenses of hitting the malls. No need for grab hitch to cover your petrol costs. Sites like Carousell, Alibaba and ezbuy often have good deals for typically expensive products. Similarly, eBay has many great deals during the festive holidays and often offers shipping discounts during this time of the year as well.
4. DIY your Christmas presents
It’s possible to make gifts that are inexpensive in dollars, yet priceless in thought – just try making the present yourself! DIY gifts offer a more personal touch than a store-bought gift or generic card. Your friends and family are bound to love your present that you’ve spent much time and effort on. Try making the gift as personal as possible and tailor it according to the receiver’s tastes. Perhaps your niece loves to paint, you could use your artistic talents to paint her a scenic portrait.
5. Find ways to celebrate without overspending
Instead of indulging in expensive Christmas traditions like travelling overseas or buying extravagant presents, you could consider making more inexpensive events and traditions as part of your Christmas celebrations. After all, while traditions are important and admirable, they don’t need to be expensive to be memorable. Here are some suggestions for activities you could do with family and friends during the Christmas season:
a) Watching a movie together at home
b) Doing Christmas arts and craft
c) Baking together
d) Watching a play or a concert
We want to hear from you! Share with us in our comments below your budget-friendly tips this Christmas.