Christmas can often mean overspending and can cause a lot of stress. Be smart and find out how you can save and cut costs in this post.
1. Get organised
Girl scouts are smart. And if you wanna be smart this Christmas, it’s a good idea to take a leaf from the Girl Scout book and be prepared. Having a plan for Christmas will help to keep a tighter rein on your spending because you’ll know what you need and what you don’t need.
That’s why my number tip to helping you save this Christmas is getting organised. Why not follow a plan like my Ready For Christmas course which is currently free. You get access to the entire plan as soon as you enrol, so you can go straight to the sections you need! There’s everything in there from lists to budgeting, gifting, cards, decor and what to do when so that you can enjoy Christmas without the stress. Join now while it’s free!
2. Buy online
It’s become easier than ever to buy products online. This is definitely my preferred way of shopping and I highly recommend online shopping if you need to be strict with your budget. When you shop online, you’re less likely to pick up sparkly, pretty things that you don’t need. The festive lights in shops and malls make it more inducive to feeling in a generous mood. And that means that were more prone to override our “inner Accountant” and spend because…well…iiiiittt’ss Christmas!!!
Don’t do that. Instead, arm yourself with a list. Go online. Purchase what you need and get outta there!
3. Book Christmas travel in advance
If you know you’ll be travelling over the Christmas period, it’s best to secure your travel plans as early as you can. Book train or plane tickets and hotel reservations early to get the best prices. And before the increased demand inflates the cost of getting anywhere.
In my Ready For Christmas course, I also remind you to book festive activities early too.Check out these smart ways to save this Christmas!Click To Tweet
4. Organise a Secret Santa
Does the cost of buying presents send you into debt depression come January? If so, then try and arrange to do a Secret Santa with loved ones instead of a mass exchange of gifts.
My large extended family are using this website to organise our Secret Santa this year. And the great thing about it is that only one person needs to log in and enter the emails. So the other people don’t need to sign up or do anything other than read their email and find out who they’re buying for!
5. Cook from scratch and double up
I’m not suggesting that you bring your own ham sandwiches to your Girls Christmas Night Out event. But, seeing as there’ll be lots of opportunity for eating out at this time of year, why not make sure that when you don’t have to eat out, you’re eating in. Home-cooked meals from scratch are tons cheaper than ordering a take-away or buying ready-meals.
And another budget boosting tip I do all the time is whenever I’m cooking something that I can freeze, I double or triple the quantities! That way, I’ll have extra home-cooked ready meals available with zero extra cooking time! Win-win!
6. Substitute lofty luxuries for fun festives!
Do you absolutely need Fortnum & Mason’s £20 mince pies this year? Even Tesco’s Finest mince pies are coming in at £2. Not to mention going to Lidl or Aldi as alternatives.
If you absolutely must have some special roast beast that has been dining on posh nosh and lulled to sleep by an animal whisperer. And it’s become a tradition to have such a roast beast at your festive feast each year, then ok. I’m a stickler for traditions too. But, where possible, look for less expensive alternatives – especially when nobody will really notice with all the fun and games going on. Swapping like for like with your festive luxuries will save you a pretty penny!
7. Emphasise giving over receiving with your kids
This is a big’un. As parents, we can feel like sour Scrooge’s if we don’t buy our kid that fancy all-singing-all-dancing toy they’ve been begging for. But here’s the thing. Christmas isn’t about getting presents. Say it with me now…
Christmas isn’t about getting presents.
If your kid is under the impression that Christmas means ‘more toys for me’, then it’s time to sit them down and let them know that Christmas is all about giving. It’s about the greatest gift God gave to mankind. And it’s about the sacrifice that Jesus gave for all of us. And it’s about how we can give the good news of God’s salvation to everyone who will hear.
I read How The Grinch Stole Christmas all the time to my kids (like, all year – they love it!). And we often talk about how we’d respond if we woke up with no presents on Christmas Day – would we still be joyful? We love this book. I hope you do too. It’s a classic.
8. Utilise the pre-Christmas sales
Putting our girl scout hats back on. It’s super smart to buy presents when they’re not at full price. Get as many gifts as you can in the sales. Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are obvious ones. But if you’re super savvy, you can also pick up bargains during the summer and New Year’s sales too.
Say what???? Yes, it’s smart to buy presents in the January sales – as long as they won’t expire before the following Christmas. Why not create a gift closet where you can stash presents to give at birthdays or the holidays? That way, you’ll rarely ever be buying gifts at full price! Savvy indeed!
9. Post parcels and cards early
Oh. My. Goodness. Have you ever been to the post office like a week before Christmas with a few parcels to mail?
Don’t. Just don’t do it!!
Not only are post office queues heaving at that time of year, but because it’s so close to Christmas, you’re forced to mail everything first class. So unless you’d like to remortgage the house just to get those parcels shipped, I recommend posting them early so that you can send them second class or economy.
10. Give homemade Christmas presents
This tip might not be for everyone. I’m not a huge crafter. My sister, on the other hand, can just touch something and it turns into handmade gold!
If you’re not so bad at making things, creating homemade gifts can save you buckaroons! And more than that, personalised gifts are so much more authentically meaningful. They show how much effort, love and attention you spent on someone by making something especially for them. Gifts that you make yourself are completely unique and can also mean that you can tailor a gift specifically to someone’s interests.
11. Squirrel away a Christmas fund
The girl scout theme has been running through this post a bit already. But this last point is connected to the fact that getting organised with the holidays will save you time, money and a lot of stress.
Christmas comes every year. And because we can rely on it coming around, it makes sense to set aside funds for it so we won’t be squeezing the life out of our November paychecks. If you’ve never had a Christmas fund before, I encourage you to start one.
You could, for example, take your holiday budget amount and divide it by 12. Then set up a standing order or monthly payment to whisk that amount away into a separate savings account each month. That way, you’ll have Christmas shopping money to hand without worrying about still making the rent!
You’ve read to the end, which tells me that you’re serious about saving yourself some money and stress this festive season. In which case, I highly recommend that you jump in on my Ready For Christmas course by clicking the image below now while it’s still free.
Have a wonderful Christmas!