October 19, 2017

Christmas on a Budget: 15 Money Saving Tips

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Christmas time, and the holiday period in general, is much more expensive than it used to be. Everything is just....more. There are more decorations, more events to attend, more food and drinks you can buy and more gifts on everyone’s Christmas lists. Then, the gifts themselves can cost an arm and a leg. Children are no longer asking for dolls and trains. Instead, they want iPads and other smart devices. Nothing seems to be cheap anymore, and many people find themselves either in vast amounts of debt or entering January with a severe lack of funds. Well, fortunately, there are still some fantastic ways to save money. Here is a look at some of the best.

Make Deals
Speak to your friends and family and agree to not buy each other gifts or set a spending limit. If you’re on a budget people will understand and probably be happy to save themselves a little cash too. Alternatively, you could have a deal to only by for the children in the family.

Send E-Cards
Cards can get very expensive, especially if you also need to pay for postage. E-Cards are very popular now and can come in some fantastic designs. Remember, it’s the thought that counts.

Make Gifts
Making gifts is a very thoughtful thing to do. Think about your creative skills and use those to come up with something awesome! Some great ideas to start with include:

•    Photo frames
•    Soft Furnishings
•    Paintings
•    Clothes
•    Bags and accessories
•    Jewelry

Have a look on Pinterest.com for some more ideas and think about what you enjoy making. If you’ve got kids, get them involved for added cute factor.


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Bake
Festive baking is a lovely way to get yourself in the mood, make your home smell lovely and save money. Make mince pies and Christmas cake or have a go at Christmas puddings. You could also bake gifts or make jams and chutneys for your friends and family.


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Shop Early
Check out giftbeta.com for some ideas and start your shopping now. Spreading the cost over time can make shopping much more manageable and save you a fortune.

Look For Deals
Starting your shopping early also means you’ve got plenty of time to search for the best offers and deals. If there’s anything big you want to buy, especially if it’s electronic, it might be worth waiting for Black Friday or Cyber Monday to see what’s on offer.

Book Tickets Now
If you plan to travel over the holidays, you could save a lot of money by booking your flights or train tickets in advance. You can typically book six to eight weeks in early, and the savings can be huge.

Compromise
If you can’t afford the best, don’t worry about it. Buy generic brands and/or make things yourself instead. You'll save money in the long run!

Have Fun at Home
There are so many events to head to over Christmas, and it can all cost a fortune. Even going to see a Christmas film at the cinema can be exceptionally expensive. So, have special treats at home instead. Get all of your old Christmas films out and make special hot chocolate to get everyone into the festive mood.

Don’t Buy Too Much Food
Most of us are guilty of buying far too much food for Christmas and, typically, a lot of it ends up getting wasted. Try to be realistic about what you need when you shop and don’t overspend.

Set a Limit
Instead of letting your kids write giant lists, give them a sensible limit that they have to stick to.


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Craft
It’s not just cards and gifts that you can make. You could also craft decorations for the home. Colorful paper chains and candle holders are easy to make and can look amazing.

Budget
The best way to save money is by setting yourself a budget and sticking to it. Set a total and then assign it to specific things.

Bulk Buy With Friends
Buying food and drink in bulk is often cheaper, but only if you need more than one. So, why not buy with friends and split the cost?

Remain Calm
One of the main reasons for festive debt is getting carried away, both with shopping for food and gifts. Remind yourself of your budgets, write a list and go into every shop with a firm plan.
If you need to, take some deep breathes and go home if you feel yourself getting carried away.

Above all, remember, and remind others , if need be, what Christmas time is all about. It’s perfectly possible to have the best Christmas ever on a tiny budget. You just need to believe you can make it happen.

 *This is a collaborative/contributed/partnered, compensated post. The copy, content, images & opinions are not my own.