Christmas is sneaking up quick and if you’re like me, you’re probably not mentally prepared. This can be a tough time to stay on track with your budget. Not only are there tons of gifts to buy, but you might be travelling for the holiday season so you’ll be purchasing plane tickets, petrol and food. These costs can quickly add up and disrupt your financial goals.
However, the festive season shouldn’t be stressful but a time to enjoy with your loved ones and have fun! There’s way more to the holiday season than spending all your time in the crowded shopping centres and your hard earned money on gifts. Here are my top tips to getting through December without spending January on instant noodles!
There’s still time to earn some extra cash to boost your festive finances. Spend a weekend clearing out anything you no longer need around the house. Clothes, jewellery, furniture or sporting equipment. You could sell these items online (try Facebook, Gumtree and Ebay!), hold a garage sale, or find a local buy-swap-sell. One person’s trash is another man’s treasure!
Plan your spending
Make a list of the things you need to buy and the food you need to prepare for your upcoming festivities. Having lists helps to plan spending and keep you on track.
- Presents – Make a list of who you’re buying for, what you want to get them and your spending limits.
- Food – List the food and drinks you’ll need, and how much you want to spend. Create the list early and buy in advance to take advantage of specials. Alcohol, frozen and packaged foods all have long shelf life!
- Travel plans – Whether you’re flying or driving, there are ways to save on holiday travel costs. List all your costs like flights, accommodation, travel insurance and petrol. Shop around for deals (don’t forget to check on-line!) as early as you can, to avoid paying more.
Online shopping saves you time and money! Once you have your present lists, head online and find the best deals. Remember to check shipping timeframes and costs and search for coupon codes you can use at the checkout. Things are often much cheaper online than in a store, but you do need to take extra precautions.
Organise Secret Santa
Do you have a big family or a large group of friends? Why not take the pressure off and organise Secret Santa! Put everyone’s name in a hat and pair each person with their Secret Santa. Make a wish list or set a spending limit to keep the gifting fair. After opening presents, play a game and guess everyone’s Santas! This ensures everyone gets a present but the spending remains low as you’re only required to purchase one present.
Buy your decorations after Christmas
Nothing says Christmas like sitting under the lights of a sparkling tree. Wait until after the holidays to buy your festive decor! Trees, lights and other decorations are marked way down after the holidays so you can get a great deal. You might have to wait until next year to use it, but think of the long term savings and all the years of use to come!
The holiday season is hard on everyone, but the key is to remember that the gifts are not the important part. The best gift that you can give is the time and energy to your loved ones. Make lasting memories, laugh and enjoy the break.
What do you think? Do you have any extra tips for budgeting this festive season? Let me know if the comments below!