Christmas is an extremely expensive time of year. Not only do we have the decorations, the tree, the food and the drink to buy but we also have to buy presents for our loved ones plus potentially attend a number of festive themed activities in the run up to the big day. This leaves our wallets and purses feeling incredibly tighter come New Year and we rue spending so much, insisting we won’t do it again next year – yet we always do.
Every year we fall for it again and spend out loads on food and drink (plenty of which gets thrown away), presents (often for people we don’t particularly want to or often something that is only used for five minutes then put aside) and decor (which only lasts for the festive season and usually gets tossed away too). Why put ourselves through this when we can save some money and still have a fantastic time?
Here are five simple tips to save money for Christmas where you won’t be left so cash strapped come the New Year.
Make A List…And Check It Twice
First thing to do is to make a list of everything you need to buy and everyone you need to buy for. Where can you cut down? Do you absolutely need to buy for everyone – or can you cut some people off the list – perhaps have a conversation about not exchanging gifts this year? Do you need to a get a real tree every year or can you bring out an artificial one year after year for years to come. Set up a budget for those you do end up having to buy for – or perhaps even consider another option. Have a ‘children only’ rule where no one needs to buy for the adults or maybe even go one step further and set up a Secret Santa – thus only one gift needs to be bought. It is totally up to you.
Make The Switch
It can be tempting to stay shopping at our usual supermarket as we are so used to the quality of their products but with Christmas being such an expensive time of year, it may be a good time to consider switching to a slightly cheaper one. Even if you only switch to the slightly cheaper stores for a few of the items, you will still be making a decent saving, money that can go back in your pocket for those tough few financial weeks we all suffer after Christmas. Make sure you aren’t buying too much too – you don’t want to be throwing it out!
Get Started Early – And Take Advantage Of The Sales
Retailers hold sales throughout the years so if you can bear starting Christmas shopping month’s earlier, this may be a good tip for you. Picking up items you know your loved ones will adore once the festive season rolls around will feel even better if you manage to get a good saving on them. You could even enter competitions to try to win them. Get stockpiling in advance and by Christmas you might not even need to go out and buy any!
One of the best sales for early Christmas shopping is Black Friday. It takes place at the end of November each year and offers savvy shoppers the opportunity to pick up gifts at bargain prices. The sale normally lasts one day making it a little stressful. However there are a few handy websites that are dedicated to helping you navigate the offers on the day:
Make Some Room
Why not make some cash whilst trying to save some? Get any unwanted items in your house onto eBay or the local selling sites on Facebook and put that money towards Christmas items. After all you need to make enough room for the new things everyone will have – why not have a clearout and see if you can make loads, enough to pay for the whole of Christmas?
Plenty of those toys from last year haven’t been played with for months and that dress is no longer your taste. Why keep them in the house doing nothing when someone else could be using them and loving them and you could get some cash in your pocket for the pleasure of selling them? It is a great way to boost your bank account whilst managing to declutter your home – why wouldn’t you give it a go?
Utilise social media
Social media keeps cropping up as a handy resource and that is because it is. Get connected with retailers and with money saving pages or accounts so you are always kept in the loop when a decent deal comes along. These money saving pages and accounts always get super busy during the festive season as they seek out the best deals for you to get the items you need. You will often find big retailers talking about their latest deals and even occasionally giving out promotional codes for their followers – if you aren’t following or connecting with these pages, you are really missing a trick. They are a fantastic resource and can save you lots of money which you can then put towards New Years instead!
It can be so tempting to spend out lots of money at Christmas time but then we thoroughly regret it later – these simple tips should help you to keep your festive costs down but everyone happy. It is all about discussion and staying connected with people – take advantage of the opportunities that come your way and keep your eyes peeled for the most recent deals – you will often be able to tick some things off your loved ones Christmas lists for just a fraction of the price – why wouldn’t you want to save some money this way?