Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could have a magical Christmas without spending all of your money and getting yourself into debt that you will still be paying off the following year?
Well, the good news is, you definitely can! It just takes a little bit of planning.
Rather than working out what your dream Christmas with all the trimmings would be, and then working out how to pay for it, Money Saving Expert recommends creating a budget for Christmas based on what you can afford FIRST. Once you have your budget, then you can start your planning. Money Saving Expert has a budget planning tool that you can use to help you get started.
It is also definitely advisable to never borrow money just for Christmas. Your friends and relatives wouldn’t like to think of you being in debt on their account, and there’s no need to do it. If you do have to borrow then make sure you borrow at 0% and that you only borrow an amount that you can reasonably payback.
Stop Buying Everyone Gifts
The reason that a lot of people spend so much at Christmas is that they buy everybody they know a gift. This just isn’t necessary. Limit your gift buying to close friends and family, the ones who you will actually be spending the day with.
If you would like to have a gift exchange with a group of friends or coworkers, then a great way to maintain the festivity without all of the expense is to do a secret Santa, where each of you only buys for one other person. It can also be great fun to set a low budget and stipulate things like the gifts must be found in a charity shop, or they must be homemade.
Buying someone a gift will make them feel as though they need to buy you one in return, so actually not buying gifts might be welcomed by some!
Charity and Homemade Gifts
For those people who you are buying gifts for, rather than buying your gifts in a shop try to make them a little more meaningful by making them yourself or by donating to a favorite charity. Many of the larger charitable organizations give details on their websites of how to give a holiday donation to make this easier for you.
Create Meaningful Traditions
The things that we all remember about Christmas as kids aren’t the gifts, it’s the traditions like decorating the tree together or waking up early on Christmas morning. Try to incorporate meaningful traditions into your Christmas that bring your loved ones together to make your Christmas truly special.
Book Your Travel in Advance
If you are travelling to visit family over the Christmas period, be sure to book and travel and accommodation well in advance. Prices will go up closer to the time, and you will end up paying more when you don’t need to.