From gifts to decorations and parties, the festive season can bleed your bank account dry.
If money is tight this year, or you simply want to spend less than usual, here are a few tips for celebrating Christmas on a budget.
Make a budget – and stick to it
While budgeting may sound like it’s going to take the fun out of the festivities, it will certainly help your money go further. You don’t have to miss out on anything; you just need to be aware of how far your money can stretch.
Sit down and take a good look at your finances. Think about any expenses you’ve got, and work out how much disposable income you’ll have to play with. From here, you’ll be able to budget yourself a certain amount of money for gift shopping, socializing, and travel.
Shorten your gift list
As you get older, you’ll come to realize that buying a gift for absolutely everyone you know simply isn’t feasible.
This year, consider reducing the number of people you buy for. It’s the season for giving, but that doesn’t mean it should break the bank! Consider only buying gifts for direct family members or those you’ll actually see during the holidays. People who miss out will totally understand.
Alternatively, see what homemade gifts you can make if you can’t bear to turn up to a party empty-handed.
Make your gift list even smaller by suggesting Secret Santa to your group of friends or the family. That way, everyone only has to buy (or make) one gift. You can set a small budget and see who finds the silliest gift!
Everyone loves baked goods
Who doesn’t love baked goods? Nobody.
Hit the kitchen and get making gifts for the whole family. From homemade bark bars, to chocolate truffles and mince pies, there are plenty of ways to gift something delicious to everyone on your list. Plus, you won’t have to worry about your gift going to waste, or being stashed in a cupboard after Christmas, never to be seen again…
You could even create everyone a hamper and batch cook a variety of foods to split between people.
Whether you need a last-minute gift or a new outfit for the Christmas party, you can find plenty of treasures in thrift stores. There are tons of charities in Houston that offer their own charity shops filled with gift ideas, old Christmas decorations, and cringe novelty jumpers.
Don’t be fooled by Black Friday
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday on the horizon, the best advice is to avoid them at all costs! When was the last time you bagged a deal on an item you actually needed?
These big seller days are a sneaky marketing ploy designed to make you part with your cash for things you never really needed in the first place. And, more often than not, the prices are higher than at other times of year. If you want to get a good deal this year, give everyone an IOU, and shop for gifts in the Boxing Day sales instead.
So, there you have it! While your friends sit at home skint during the January Blues, you’ll be enjoying a healthy bank balance by trying these tricks.