Christmas is fast approaching and it is a time when many people get into debt with their Christmas spending.
On average the average household spends around 800 pounds – yes that is staggering. But it does not have to be like this. No one should be forced to spend beyond their means. Below are a few tips on how to reduced this dramatically.
Stop sending Christmas cards to everyone you know.
There is simply no need to send Christmas cards to everyone in your work place. Lets face it you see them every day as it is! Just consider sending Christmas cards to a few people who you do not see on a regular basis.
Stick to a one present rule for friends and family
Why not set a price limit on a present you are buying and ask everyone else to do the same (trust me they will love you for that!)
Suggest a Secret Santa for everyone – this works well for family gatherings and think of the fun you will have around the dinner table on Christmas Day. You can put a lot more thought into the gift knowing you only have one to buy. Why not consider a home-made gift instead. That is far more thoughtful. Another idea is to offer a voucher for 2 nights baby sitting or even 2 taxi services. These are thoughtful and fun presents. After all we all have enough socks and bath cubes to last a lifetime!
Food and Drink
This is often one of the major expenses but we can reduce the cost of items we are going to buy.
Try to plan ahead and only buy what will actually be eaten – do you really need 5 boxes of mince pies for a small family!
Make sure you make a plan and stick to it. Consider checking out your local markets for bargains and visit several stores to get the best deals.
Have you accumulated any coupons or loyalty bonus cards – this is the ideal time to use them
Make your food last longer by putting your left overs in plastic containers and leaving in the fridge. If possible try to freeze them as well.
Lets face it the shops are only going to be closed on Christmas Day (in fact you may find several local stores could be open) so you do not have to fill your cupboards to the point of bursting!
There is no need to go out and spend a fortune on decorations. In fact last years ones should be fine if they have been packed away securely from last year.
Why not get your children/grandchildren to help spice up your old decorations by adding some sparkle and glitter with some glue. They would love this be proud to see their decorations on the walls.
Have you ever thought of making your own crackers. You can fill them with things you know your family will use rather than the rubbish we normally get in them. COnsider visiting the local pound shops or charity shops for ideas.
Set up a Christmas cupboard
The following tips may be useful for 2019 Christmas!
Why not have one of your food cupboards as your Christmas store. You can look out for bargains during the year and store the items
If you brought one extra item a week eg a jar of Cranberry sauce with your weekly shopping you will not notice the cost and this can help with your budget.
Try not to get into debt
You may be tempted to use your Credit card to spread the cost of Christmas. While this may seem a good idea you will find yourself still paying for Christmas well into 2019 .
Help others less fortunate
One of the best ways to give a present is to donate to a Charity or a cause close to your heart.
Also why not consider giving some extra donations of food to your local food bank (but make sure you do this at least a week before Christmas so the helpers can get the food to the people in need). One good food bank charity is the Trussell Trust and their website is https://www.trusselltrust.org/
I hope these few tips will help you have a great Christmas.