No matter how careful you are with your money, it’s easy to justify frivolous spending when Christmas rolls around. After all, it does only come once a year, right? The problem is, this annual event can end up throwing you off kilter financially for many months to follow. If you’re tired of the annual fiscal holiday hangover, the following tips will be just what you need to help you enjoy the holiday season without crippling your bank balance.
1. Streamline your gift-giving
Rather than hitting the mall and seeking out individual gifts for everyone, consider shifting your attention to online retailers and opting for household gifts. A Christmas hamper, for example, can offer something fun for everyone in a household, and you can often get free delivery in time for Christmas. This allows you to cut back on the number of presents you buy, the overall cost, and the time you spend Christmas shopping. Yet you still get to be generous, so everybody wins.
2. Host a virtual Christmas party
Virtual Christmas parties may end up being the only option for those in areas hard-hit by the pandemic. However, even in regions where social gatherings are allowed, it may be safer and more cost-effective to go virtual this Christmas.
A virtual party will allow you to catch up with friends and family members who are unable to travel due to COVID-19, and all you really need is an internet connection, a delightfully hideous Christmas sweater and enough Christmas food for your household.
3. Go natural with your decorations
Instead of forking out on expensive decorations that only get used once a year, dedicate some time to exploring a local wooded area. Pine cones, bright berries, acorns, and other natural elements can make stunning decorations. You can usually also snag off-cuts for free from Christmas tree vendors. These are perfect for using as the base of DIY garlands and table centerpieces.
4. Have a Christmas potluck
Instead of leaving the full weight of the food preparation on your shoulders alone, why not ask each guest to bring along their favourite Christmas dish? Get an idea of what everyone would like to bring ahead of time so you can ensure you have a good coverage of finger foods, salads, main meals, and desserts, with options for every dietary requirement in your tribe.
Since everyone’s already bringing a dish, you can take it a step further and make it a BYOB (Bring Your Own Booze) affair. If everyone handles their own drinking requirements, that takes a massive expense off your plate as host.
5. Sell unwanted items
Christmas is the perfect time of year to offload any clutter you’ve accumulated throughout the year. People will be trawling the online marketplaces for good deals, so you should have an easier time than usual moving your old items and bringing in some extra cash. While you’re at it, you may even find some brilliant bargain Christmas gifts of your own! It’s important to do away with the idea that second-hand is somehow a less caring gift. It is, in fact, more caring as it allows you to cut back on waste and do a good deed for the environment.
Whether your Christmas money saving plan is one of your debt solutions or you’re just trying to be responsible, the tips above should help you achieve your goal. The best part is, none of them require you to sacrifice the fun of Christmas.