Are you trying to do Christmas on a budget? Do you need some ideas to stretch your pennies this year? If so, I hope you find this post inspiring!
Christmas can send some families reeling into debt in the New Year. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If need to scale back your Christmas spending you’re going to need to put in some effort and get creative!
Here are some tips for keeping the festive season financially simple.
1. Get everyone to bring something.
Parties and family gatherings can put a dent in your wallet. So, ask guests to bring a dish, a drink, some snacks or whatever else you need to lay an appetizing spread!
If guests are asked to bring something to the table it doesn’t need to cost you much at all! And what’s more, people are often very happy to bring and share a dish that they made or bought. It also adds to the whole festive feeling of gathering and togetherness which is what really makes the season special!
This book does a wonderful job of reminding us how powerful the dinner table is for bonding, building and repairing relationships – whether it is fully laden or not.
2. Shop from your closet.
We’ve all received those gifts that we’ve accepted not knowing what we were going to do with. Those presents that never get opened because, well, we don’t have a use for them or maybe we don’t like them enough. Now I don’t want you to feel like you’re being stingy by wrapping one of these gifts to give to someone else. In fact, you’re doing a great service: you are giving that present a new home!
You are doing your bit for the environment by passing it on to someone who may cherish it more than you have. Your junk may be another man’s treasure – seriously! Just because you don’t like it or need it, doesn’t mean that Aunt Jane or Uncle Jim won’t.
Shopping from your closet can cut your gift spending considerably.
Keep this mindset throughout the year. That way, when someone gives you a present that you’re not too keen on or don’t think you will make good use of. You can thank them authentically for the gift because now you know you really will make good use of it!! It will fit just nicely in your ‘gift closet’!
That present can be a blessing to someone else. And if you keep a gift closet filling up the whole year round during seasonal sales, when Christmas comes, you have your own shop ready and waiting for you! And you’re less likely to break the bank.
3. Craft from your closet.
I’m sure you were waiting for this one! And yes, making gifts for Christmas can save you a ton of money. But be realistic here. There’s no point promising to knit 20 sweaters in the run-up to Christmas – you’ll exhaust yourself.
Think about how much time you have to dedicate to making presents. Then make a list of the different kinds of projects you can do and how long they take to complete. Next, figure out how many of these projects can be completed in that time. Make sure you finish all your projects at least a week before Christmas.
If you’ve reached halfway through December and you’re still tracing out patterns on fabric, put it down and resign to buy the remaining gifts. Sacrificing your sanity for your budget is not worth it.
Check out this post for some great affordable Christmas gifts!
There are a lot of crafts that can be done by people who are not ‘craftsy’. You can try putting a picture of the person you’re giving to in a picture frame. Or pimp up a picture frame with Scrabble letters to spell a name or place. You can create cushion covers out of old jumpers in your closet using a few buttons and some thread. Or decorate a vase/mirror/bowl you found in a charity shop.
Personalising items for your family and friends makes the present more special and shows that you really put some thought and time into them.
Check out some crafty ideas here on my Pinterest board!
4. Shop at the Charity Store
Don’t gasp at this one! Depending on the person you’re giving to, you might get some wonderful gifts here. If you have a family member who likes model aeroplanes or original literary classics in hardback you could really make their Christmas with an unusual and rare find!
I recommend that you make a list of people for whom a charity store present could work and what kind of item you’re looking for. Stay focused and watch your budget! It’s so easy to get distracted and lost amidst all the items in these stores so DON’T GET SIDETRACKED HERE! Get in and get out!
Time is also an important commodity. And remember that you are not shopping for yourself!
I hope these four tips are useful to you in your efforts to keep Christmas under budget! Let me know what other ways you keep your budget down over Christmas in the comments!