Christmas is a season of excess, extravagance, and indulgence – or at least, that’s how it often feels. It’s easily to justify small purchases on the grounds that it’s the season for spending. But there’s no such thing as a ‘one-off’ at this time of year; all of those smaller items can easily accumulate into a bill that’ll present you with major problems by the time that January rolls around.
Let’s take a look at a few tips that’ll help you to reign in your spending. In many cases, you can make these changes without compromising on the experience of Christmas.
Start Saving Early
If you get your budget down using pen and paper, you’ll find it considerably easier to abide by. Break down your spending into chunks that you can easily manage, and set aside a little bit in the weeks leading up to the day itself.
Know Who You’re Buying For
When you come up with a big list of people for whom you’d like to buy, you can more easily keep track of the overall figure. After all, if you’re buying for twenty people, a marginal difference in price can quickly multiply. Look for webpages labelled gifts under £20 – you’ll find that there’s a lot of retailers catering to people in your position!
Set Up a Secret Santa
To avoid having to buy dozens of presents for the people you work with, or with your family, you can set up a Secret Santa instead. This will mean less spending for everyone, but it’ll also mean that you end up with a single present you actually want rather than many presents that will end up destined for the landfill.
Open a Savings Account
If you want to take saving really seriously, then it might be worth opening an account especially for the purpose. This is easy to do with online banking, and it might help you to maintain discipline.
Beware Showy Packaging
Supermarkets long ago worked out that you can create a feeling of luxury with a little bit of black and gold on the box, even if the product inside isn’t much the same. When you’re food-shopping, be sure that you aren’t paying over the odds for certain items.
If you want to save money on decorations, then you might get creative. If you need something to do with the kids during their time off school, then this might be just the thing. You’ll often find that you can achieve a more distinctive look if you take this approach, too.
Don’t Stress About It
Christmas can be an extremely stressful time. This goes especially if you’re hosting loads of guests, and especially if you’re finding yourself under financial pressure. If you’re feeling under the cosh, then make time to speak to friends and family about it – it’s likely that they’re in a similar situation.