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When people think of Christmas, one of the last things they associate it with, is a budget. In fact, people don’t tend to like the term budget at all, because it makes them think of cutting back to the point of missing out – but what if we told you this isn’t the case?
The term budget simply means having a spending cap, so that you don’t overdo it. Did you know that in the United Kingdom, as many as 7.9 million people around the country admit they’re likely to overspend this festive season? So much so that they expect to fall behind on their finances come January. People feel under so much pressure to impress and enjoy at Christmas, that they end up putting themselves into debt to do so.
However, this isn’t at all necessary. It’s about time we busted the myths about having Christmas on a budget, and told you all about how you can have a magical yuletide without breaking the bank.
Make a List, and Shop Online
Santa makes a list, and even checks it twice – so why shouldn’t we do the same? Making a list helps us to know how much we’re going to spend, and what exactly we need to get. It simplifies the process and encourages us not the spend extra – that’s a given.
However, one thing we don’t have that Mr Claus does, is a workshop full of elves to create the gifts for us. We usually end up traipsing the local shopping centre, emptying out banks, and staggering home beneath a back breaking number of shopping bags. Not ideal.
Why not go online this year? You can do just about anything online nowadays. People sell properties using this service, and have even bought a whole new wardrobe using tools like Facebook marketplace – so why shouldn’t we do our festive shopping on the internet?
In fact, it saves you a lot of money – because you’re far less likely to buy more than you need. The shops will use clever marketing techniques in order to get you to buy more, and you eliminate these entirely by shopping online. Plus, some of the best bargains available are to be found online – and a lot of websites will have offers on that you wouldn’t find in store. So long as you do it in plenty of advance in order to make sure everything arrives in time, doing your entire Christmas haul online is no bad idea.
Suggest a Family Secret Santa
One of the most expensive parts of the festive season, is without a doubt the gifts. It’s not so bad when you’re just buying for the kids and immediate family, but as soon as we start going into the extended realm, the figures very quickly begin to increase. Eliminate this worry, by suggesting you all do a family secret Santa this year instead!
The great thing about secret Santa, is that generally speaking, people love the idea! It means they only have to buy one gift, and there’s always a price cap so no one goes overboard. This could save you a lot of money when it comes to gift buying, as well as the stress of knowing what to get EVERYBODY. Christmas is stressful for everyone, so this idea is bound to be well received.
If You’re Hosting, Suggest Making it a Shared Effort
If you usually host Christmas, and therefore make the entirety of the dinner, dessert AND provide drinks for the day – then chances are you spend a fortune every year. So this year, why not make it a shared effort!
Set some guidelines that everyone attending contributes in some way. They might bring a dessert, a dish, or even some bottles for the table. Sharing the responsibility of putting the dinner on the table will make it a lot cheaper and less stressful for you personally. Plus, everyone having a contribution is a lovely idea.
Remember What it’s All About
Last of all, and possibly the most importantly, remember what Christmas is really about.
It’s nice to have nice things, and everyone indulges a little over the festive season, but when you’re feeling worried about money and impressing, remember that it’s really about spending time with your loved ones. It’s one day a year where you’re all in the same room having fun, so make this the focus, and NOT the gifts. After all, it’s not about what’s under the tree – it’s about who’s around it with you.
This is a collaborative post.