I’m not going to lie to you, Christmas on a budget doesn’t particularly sound fun.
Christmas is supposed to be a time of indulgence, isn’t it? You’ve worked hard all year, so you deserve to go overboard on delicious food, too much booze and extravagant gifts for everyone, right?
Then you wake on 1st January full of good intentions for the New Year (with a bit of a fuzzy head). But the horror, oh the horror, when you see your bank balance in the minus figures.
Being in debt is not a fun way to start the new year.
Don’t panic my friend, because I am here with some ideas of how to have yourself a merry little Christmas, on a budget (and not seem like a grinch)!
1#Save all year
I know what you’re thinking, perhaps I could have bought this to your attention last January? Well unfortunately I hadn’t started the blog back then, but I am suggesting you plan now for Christmas next year. Work out how much Christmas has cost you this year and divide by 12, to see how much you’ll need to save each month. Set up a direct debit to a savings account and come next year you’ll have all the cash you need ready and waiting.
Within the groups of people that you buy for (work colleagues, friendship circles etc), suggest that you put all your names in a hat and each pick one person to buy for. I love this idea, because it saves you money and time.
Hit up Pinterest for amazing DIY gifts that are super cheap to make. Even if crafts are not your strong suit, there are a ton of really simple, but lovely gifts. I’ve made a Pinterest board with my favourite DIY gift ideas from around the internet just for you, so go ahead and find me on Pinterest. I will also be doing a tutorial for DIY gift ideas soon, so why not subscribe to my email list and I’ll have that post delivered right to your inbox when it arrives.
4#Divide up the dishes
If you’re hosting the Christmas lunch for a crowd, it’s amazing how much the costs can mount up. Why not suggest that others bring starter, dessert, evening buffet etc? It’s also worth considering where you’ll buy the food from. Last year we bought lots of food from Aldi, which saved us a ton of money and the food was really fantastic quality too. Might I add that their mince pies are amazing this year.
Black Friday is on 25th November. No need to brave the stores in person though, you can survey the bargains at your favourite stores from the safety of your laptop or phone. Don’t get distracted though (damn you Instagram).
If you have nerves of steel, you can shop last minute, as lots of stores start their sales before Christmas now, rather than on boxing day. Boots normally have a 3 for 2 offer across all of their gifts sets and such a wide range too, I can usually get half my Christmas shopping done there.
Do you find yourself buying a trillion present for the kids stockings? I love this idea from Dixie Delights, her family goes by the rule of 4 gifts from Santa. Something they want, something they need, something to do and something to read. Something to do could be a trip to a theme park later in the year, so you wouldn’t need to pay for it all in December.
7#Set a budget challenge
Last year my husband and I set a limit of £20 to spend on each other and it was fun seeing what presents we could find within the budget.
8#Find the best prices
Shop around online to ensure that you are buying gifts for the best possible price. I often use price comparison sites such as pricespy or pricerunner to quickly find the best deal. It’s also worth checking ebay.
9#Earn some extra cash
By far the easiest and quickest way to earn extra cash is to sell things you own. You can easily boost your budget by having a big clear out and selling any items you no longer want or need on ebay, facebook selling groups or a car boot sale. If you have lots of CDs and DVDs to sell I recommend music magpie. If you do receive any unwanted gifts, you could sell these too or re-gift them, so that they don’t go to waste.
10#Keep a detailed Christmas list
Rather than shopping on impulse and over spending, make a very clear list of who you need to buy for, how much you plan to spend and what you want to buy, if you know. Add each item you purchase on to the list including the amount you spend, so you can easily keep track.
I hope this has given you some ideas of how to have a fantastic Christmas without spending a fortune.
Have I missed anything? What are your best tips for a budget-friendly Christmas?
Let me know if the comments below.
Why not pin this for later ?