Christmas is approaching fast and with it there’s bound to be a lot of stress, when it comes to finding enough money to make it a memorable celebration.
1. Plan ahead
The more you plan in advance, the less likely you are to buy things on impulse, or make costly mistakes with your budget. So sit down and write all your Christmas expenses on a sheet of paper. These may include:
- Christmas meals
- Gifts to the kids and family
- Tips and other small gifts to teachers, neighbours, etc
- Travelling to visit family
- Christmas decorations
- Christmas tree
- Dressing up the kids
And so on. Once you have all that, see where you can save money, by searching for offers, buying food in advance, etc. The more time you have, the more you can afford to wait for a real deal.
2. Agree with your family
We all want a perfect celebration with a happy family around the table, but does that mean lavish gifts on top? Some families will happily agree on no gifts for adults, or one Secret Santa gift instead of requiring you to shop for all your distant cousins. Many won’t speak up for fear of sounding like a Grinch, but will be relieved if you do.
3. Involve the kids
When you ask kids what they want for Christmas, they would love to buy the whole store, so how about getting them involved with your budget? Some family put a price limit on gifts, others do one gift per kid along with an additional treat – it really depends on what you are comfortable with. Some friends offered their kids the option to get gifts, or a family trip the next summer. They picked the trip, making it a cheap Christmas for the parents, who then had six months to save for the summer trip.
4. Get creative
Remember when you would come back from school with Christmas decorations you had made? They’re cheap and a great family activity! Instead of buying everything in store, look up craft ideas online and get creative! Be it paper maché angels on the Christmas tree or window decorations, all the way to homemade candles, that will keep the kids busy and make your house look Christmas-ey on a budget.
5. Remember the meaning of Christmas
Christmas is about quality time with your loved ones, bonding and sharing special moments, all of which has nothing to do with how much you spend! A night of board games and hot cocoa is going to create a lot of sweet memories and your kids probably won’t remember what they got for their 8th Christmas once they grow up. You don’t have to spend a ton of cash to make Christmas memorable. Go build a snowman, ice skate, visit a nearby town and admire the lights…there are lots of free or cheap activities that you can find in your town’s cultural calendar. Some will have readings at the library, crafts, gatherings. Have fun and build memories for your family.
Looking for some help with your budget this Christmas? Choose Wisely have created this fantastic infographic to help you keep your spending in check!