The holidays season should be a time of joy and togetherness, not financial stress, but it is also the time of year that, more than any other, we hear those messages to ‘buy, buy, buy‘. With pressure from not only the media but social expectations – at work, among family and friends – it can be hard to remain focused on not only the real spirit of the season, but our financial goals.
According to some sources, almost two-thirds of shoppers do not save anything for their holiday spending, and around a third finance the holiday entirely on credit card.
The word ‘holiday‘ comes from ‘holy day’ meaning both a religious festival, and a day of exemption from labour and recreation. But by spending up big on the holidays, many of us are actually signing up for many more days of work in order to pay off our credit cards.
In this spirit, today, I’m passing over to Good Nelly for a special guest post on how to save at Christmas, but many of her tips are relevant for any celebration, at any time of the year.
Can you enjoy Christmas without further damaging your family debt?
Yes, you can!
It is easy to get tempted with Christmas shopping this festive season. But, if you’re still in debt, don’t let your festive expenses worsen your existing debt condition.
You don’t have to swipe your credit cards million times to enjoy the Christmas. There are tons of ways to celebrate Christmas without putting much pressure on your kitty.
Whichever way you celebrate Christmas, first save money for your basic needs. Never let unnecessary expenses ruin your financial health.
So, c’mon let’s find out how to have fun this Christmas without spending a fortune:
1. Make a budget for Christmas shopping
This is the most important thing that you should do before heading toward the stores. A budget will help you differentiate between necessary and unnecessary expenses, and help you find out the amount of money you can afford to spend on Christmas shopping.
2. Shorten your guest list
If you are facing a financial crunch this year, consider trimming your guest list. Even better, celebrate this Christmas only with your family. Or, if you still want to call some guests, invite some close friends and relatives only. A long guest list may multiply your bills.
3. Search your home
Are you falling short of money to buy the necessary items for this festive season? If so, then search your home thoroughly and find the things that you no longer use (maybe an old pair of jeans that you won’t wear anymore). Sell those unused items and use that money toward something fruitful. Also, look for other ways to fetch extra dollars for this occasion.
4. Gift your time
Instead of buying gifts for your family, spend some quality time with them. Believe me, it’ll make your family members happier. If you live away from home, you can use this opportunity to enjoy Christmas with your family.
5. Go for homemade gifts
Buying gifts will cost you more. But, if you still want to give gifts, consider making homemade gifts. It’ll save you more money. Plus, handcrafted gifts have more emotions attached to them in comparison to those store bought Christmas gifts.
6. Use last year’s decorative items
Don’t use Christmas preparations as an excuse to swipe your cards again. Instead of buying expensive decorative items, try to use last year’s decorative pieces (if they’re in good condition). Take out the Christmas tree and other decorating ornaments to beautify your house. Or, you can make homemade items (like use pieces of cotton to create snowflakes, and so on) to embellish your house.
7. Arrange a potluck
Never spend too much money on food by arranging a dinner party all on your own. If you’re arranging a Christmas party at your home, organize a potluck. Tell your guests to cook their best dishes for the party. This way you can save lots of money on food.
8. Buy one gift for the whole family
When you have less money and a lot of people to give gifts, consider buying one present for the whole family. Don’t waste loads of dollars by purchasing individual presents. Instead, search for a gift that is suitable for the entire family.
Even better, inform your family, relatives, and friends that this year you’re not exchanging any gifts on Christmas, and use that money to pay off your debts.
9. Look for discounts
Who wouldn’t be happy to get discounts on shopping? Search online shopping portals and stores to get good deals on Christmas gifts and decors. Many stores uncover their best deals at the last minute. So, wait for the eleventh hour to complete your shopping. Or, buy gifts and other items from cheap stores at a much lower price.
10. Use coupons
Use coupons to purchase Christmas goodies this year and save lots of money while shopping. Search online for free coupons and use them to buy Christmas presents and other important items.
Don’t get disheartened if you can’t celebrate Christmas lavishly this year. These frugal ideas are great too.
If your financial condition is not letting you enjoy Christmas the way you want, you have one year ahead of you. Next year, try to improve your financial condition and get back with a bang.
But remember, never let your enjoyment put you in a monetary mess. Whatever you do, do it in moderation. Don’t let your finances suffer unnecessarily.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!
Author Bio – Good Nelly is a financial writer associated with Debt Consolidation Care for quite a long time. She loves to collect Financial data, analyze those and share among communities in the form of articles. Other than DebtCC she also writes for other financial websites and blogs as well. Apart from writing she loves to travel and gather ideas on food and nutrition and taking new challenges in life like trekking & many others. You can also check out her social media profiles (Facebook and Twitter) for more information.
What are your best tips for saving during the holidays? Please share them below.
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