Another day, another Christmas themed blog post (can you tell I’m getting excited??). For those of you who read my blog regularly, you will know that I’m currently trying to save money ahead of hopefully moving out next year. Of course, saving isn’t quite as easy when Christmas comes rolling round. With presents to buy, cards to write, wrapping to get sorted, and numerous festive days out with family and friends, it can soon all add up, and you might find yourself not wanting to check your bank balance.
For those of you that may be in a similar situation, here’s some tips that I myself have been following this year, in order to try and make the damage to my account a bit less severe in the lead up to Christmas period.
- Start your Christmas Shopping Early
I know this may seem like a daunting task, but it honestly makes a world of difference. By starting to look for presents even just a few months earlier, you’re spreading the cost of Christmas and making sure that your bank balance isn’t hit all at once with you buying what may feel like a billion gifts for your loved ones. I’ve never done this before, and have always started my shopping sometime in November, giving myself only around four weeks to buy everything for all my family and basically leaving myself a little bit skint. To tie in with my commitment to saving money for my future home, I decided to start my shopping around mid October, and already I’ve bought a good few presents for various people I know. By doing this, I’ve given myself more room money wise for buying presents this month and in December, as well as leaving enough for all the festive activities I’ve got planned!
- Set Budgets
It’s very easy to go slightly overboard with the amount of money spent on presents each Christmas, and I admit that I’m completely guilty of this. Every year I always start with the intention that I’m only going to spend a certain amount of money, or buy a certain number of presents for the people in my life. Each and every year though, without fail, I end up spending far too much. That’s why this year budgets have been put in place, which will hopefully stop me from spending too much money on everyone. My family have agreed we’re going to spend no more than £10 on each person, and my boyfriend and I have also agreed to not go over a particular amount. It really does help in the long term, and will hopefully help you save some pennies by reining in how much you can spend.
- Don’t Go Overboard!
Again, it’s easy to do and I’m sure everyone is tempted to go that extra mile in buying presents for loved ones in the lead up to Christmas. Finding that one little thing that would make the perfect extra present for whoever it is you’re buying for may all be well and good, but if you start doing the same for everyone, you’re going to find yourself spending more money than you first planned. I’m again guilty of doing this, but this year I’ve made a firm promise to myself that I will only buy things that people have either specifically asked for, that they’ll find useful and use on a regular basis, or that they need. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of buying something random or silly because it seemed like a good idea at the time, but it will honestly make a lot more sense to buy things you know that person will love or use all the time, and using your money towards something that you know will bring a smile to their face. Again, try and not go too overboard with buying things you know your friend or relative will really like. After all, it’s not about the number of presents you buy, but the time you get to spend with loved ones over Christmas.
- Secret Santa With Your Friends and Family
It’s become an annual tradition in my friendship group where we come together for a day in December to have a Christmas meal and exchange Secret Santa presents. We have quite a large friendship group, I think there’s 15 of us going for dinner this year, and it goes without saying that it would literally destroy all our bank accounts if we bought presents for each and every one of us. That’s why we decided to do Secret Santa every year, as it really does make the world of difference and helps save a lot of money. It’s also a really fun concept as well as being a money saver, and we always have a good laugh trying to guess whose got who in the weeks leading up to our festive get together. I would definitely recommend this if you also have a big friendship group or family, as by setting a budget on how much you spend (usually £5 or £10) and by buying for the one person you’ve been given, it will make a huge difference in how much you spend, and will ultimately save you quite a lot of money!
- Everyone Chips In
If you, or another member of your family, are planning on hosting Christmas this year for all your relatives, it can be pretty easy to spend far too much money when it comes to buying everything you need to host a spectacular Christmas Day. To make sure you create the best day possible, and to prevent you from running your bank account dry in the process, why don’t you suggest that everyone in your family contributes towards the food and drink? By coming together and deciding who should bring what on the day, i.e if your Uncle Bob provides the wine and your Nan brings the cheese and biscuits, it not only takes the pressure off you to get absolutely everything for everyone, but it also helps you save a lot of money. Why not suggest doing this with your family, or whoever you might be spending the big day with. I’m sure people will enjoy helping you bring everything together, and getting to choose what food they’d like to bring along!
I hope these points have given you a bit of advice on how to get ready for Christmas, whilst saving money at the same time. From my own experience, following some of these tips has really helped me save money in the lead up to Christmas, so I hope they help you too.