Christmas time is infectious, that much is for sure, and whether you like to be a grinch and spend it alone or want to spend the day surrounded by family and friends then you can enjoy Christmas on a shoestring if you set your mind to it and put a little bit of planning in to it. Christmas need not mean scrabbling to try and find some money from somewhere and getting yourself in to huge amounts of debt in the process.
Here are some of my favorite hints and tips to help you enjoy Christmas on a reasonably low budget.
If you think about next Christmas just after the last one has finished the you can begin putting some money away each week or each month to take the pressure off. You will feel immensely proud in December if you have been squireling a little money away regularly as you will have built up a nice nest egg that can take off the pressure quite considerably when it comes to buying the ideal presents and filling the dining table with food on Christmas day.
Write up a list of the people that you would like to purchase presents for as this will be a fantastic place to jot down ideas and items that you have seen that you think may be suitable. This will also help you if you find some suitable gifts throughout the year as you can write down the cost of the gifts and the person that they are intended for to help ensure that you are organised and know exactly how much you have spent on each person.
Once you have the perfect ideas for Christmas gifts and the funds available (from your forward planning) then make sure that you shop around for the presents that you want. Buying all of your presents in one store or from one website may be more convenient but with a little shopping around either by foot or on the web you may be surprised at the mark up that shops place on some items when offering others very cheap.
If you have loyalty vouchers or points to use then considering putting these towards the cost of your Christmas food and drink rather than presents as you may be shocked to find that prices have risen considerably for food and drink in particularly during November ready for December and Christmas time.
Discuss plans in advance
When it comes to spending the day together for Christmas if you have an idea of who is coming you can suggest to everyone to bring something along to your home, or you to theirs, and this will help keep the budget low for the host. Bringing a home made dish or a bottle of fizz will always be gratefully received, particularly if planned in advance so the host has a little less work to do.
With present buying often being an expensive task then agree a set or rough budget in advance with family or friends. This will hopefully ensure that you don’t receive a present far more extravagant than one you have given and will hopefully avoid any arguments, problems or guilt at Christmas time.
Stick to your list
Write a list for your food shopping, a budget for your presents and make sure that you stick to it! At Christmas shops are generally closed for just one day and remember that, Christmas is only one day, if you don’t buy something at shopping or run out of something it is really not the end of the world.