Christmas is the most expensive time of year. The average family spends around $950 on Christmas, which is a significant chunk of money if you don’t have a lot of spare cash. The good news is that you can do Christmas on a budget. Here’s how!
Start Saving Early
Start saving as early as possible. If you can afford to, put a little bit of money aside each month to pay for any big-ticket Christmas purchases. Kids these days are usually desperate for expensive electronic gadgets at Christmas, which can be a huge drain on a family budget. You could buy these items on a credit card, but that will cost you more in interest and going into the New Year with a debt burden is not advisable.
Some stores do savings schemes for their customers. You can put aside a small amount each month and when Christmas arrives, you have your nest egg to spend. It is especially useful for grocery shopping, as buying extra food and alcohol at Christmas is expensive.
Save Money on Decorations
Christmas decorations need not cost the earth. While real Christmas trees are lovely and smell divine, they can be pricey, and you are then stuck with a dead or dying tree in January. One way to circumvent this issue is with an artificial tree. Artificial Christmas trees often look just as nice as a real tree, but their biggest advantage is that they can be reused year after year. So aside from your initial investment, it won’t cost you anything extra. Look for a tree that fits your budget. Balsam Hill Christmas trees are a popular brand that offers great value for money.
Don’t spend money you can’t afford on expensive baubles and garlands. Make your own! Kids love to be creative at Christmas. Let them play with paper and glitter. They will probably bring home some pretty decorations from school. Use this as a starting point and then look online for more ideas. It’s amazing what you can do when you have some paper, glitter, and imagination.
Create festive garlands using holly, ivy, and greenery from your garden. String evergreen garlands together using florist wire and hang them over your fireplace and above pictures. A little bit of greenery will transform your home into a festive grotto.
Start Buying Early
Don’t leave it until the last minute to do your Christmas shopping. Prices inevitably go up nearer the holidays, so you will end up paying more than you need to. Have a list and keep an eye out for bargains in the months prior to Christmas. If you have young children, pick up small toys in the sales and watch out for second-hand jigsaws and books in thrift stores.
Do the same with your grocery shopping. Many food items can be frozen in advance, so if you see a great BOGOF deal, freeze the extra so you can use it over the holidays.
Don’t panic about Christmas. Have a budget and stick to it. That way, you won’t be caught out.