We are quickly coming up on the Christmas season, which means we are also coming up on the gift-giving season, party season and Christmas work party season, which is very different from friend party season. If you want to keep rockin’ around the Christmas tree and buying beautiful decorations, and want to come through the season without being in the red. You’re in the right place.
Nobody wants to rack up a Christmas debt, no matter how good the Mini 4 Pro drone would be loved by your teenager. You need to be able to save money even in the spending season. Because we all know we spend too much this time of the year. It’s why stores and companies capitalize on sales and on their stock this year because they know that people will buy it. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at how you can save money during the Christmas season.
- Develop a plan for your gift giving.
We could easily tell you not to buy gifts this year and save yourself the money, but everybody knows that’s not going to happen. The very first suggestion for everybody is to budget. But this time around we’re going to talk about developing our plan. It’s all well and good to budget, but you need to have a plan of what that budget will be and know exactly what you’re planning to spend. Are you hoping to impress people with gifts, or are you hoping to give experiences this year? Are you planning to give vouchers, or are you planning to donate in the name of other people? Either way, you have to know what you’re going to give before you can set the budget.
- Now, budget.
We didn’t want to make budgeting the first suggestion, so we’re making it the second one instead. You become a hero of the holidays if you come through it without being in the red, and you need to be able to budget your money so that you can ensure that you are giving without taking from yourself. January is bleak enough as it is without knowing that you have more than enough bills to pay, and there is a big gap between payday and December and payday in January. Make sure that you stay on Santa’s nice list by setting a limit for what you’re going to spend, but also sticking to it is important.
- Pay attention to the budget.
While it’s nice to set a budget, you also need to pay attention to it. If you decide to buy a specific gift, don’t just shop in one place. Have a look at comparison websites and really do your research to see if you can save. Any money that you save can be moved on to the next gift and the next gift, and then you’ll end up with a surplus at the end of your budget. You need to make sure that you have a way to track your budget. So you could go old school with pen and paper, or you could be a bit more technological with a spreadsheet. Either way, your budget has to be set and you have to keep it going so that you know exactly what you’re spending and where. As you buy, tick things off on your list so that you know what you’ve already bought and you don’t end up over buying.
- Slow down your other spending.
As it’s the festive season, you know that your money is going to be geared towards your Christmas festivities rather than through regular spending. As you know, it’s nice to spend money on the things that you need and the things that you want, but with Christmas coming, you might need to allocate more of your spare leftover money to that season rather than to yourself.
- Choose time over money.
We all know that the cost of living crisis is pinching this year, and that means that instead of planning out for gifts, choose to give people your time. It’s better to go out with people for a day that you can keep the costs low by doing something fun or by spending time playing board games than it is to spend money on the latest technology. In whatever way you can, you can make sure that you are saving your money, both in person and virtually, and just giving people your presence instead of presents. Valuing experience over accessories and conversations over gifts is really going to change the game for your Christmas festive season.
- Shop as early as possible.
You can get much of your Christmas gifting done in the Black Friday sales, but you might find that you save money by starting now rather than waiting two more months. Look for sales all year around and don’t forget to grab things that you can see that you could carry over to next year, for example the post Christmas sales on Boxing Day and in the new year are fantastic for shopping for the following festive season, especially when it comes to decorations and table stuff. If you missed the chance to jump on early shopping this year, then you should remember it in January once you’ve got through Christmas and you’re wondering how you spent so much money.
- Don’t give as many gifts.
This is a tough one, but it’s a good way to save money during the spending season. If you’re trimming down the tree, then make sure that you’re trimming down your Christmas list. You do not need to buy for every cousin, second cousin, and person you’ve ever met. Christmas cards would more than suffice for people you don’t see on a regular basis because you are not obligated to give a gift. Give to extended family who you don’t see. You also don’t need to give a gift to your hairdresser. That needs to be more expensive than a box of chocolates. Instead, make a list of people that you actually value, and put the value on your gifting list.
- Resist the end of the aisle specials.
It’s very easy to get wrapped up in all the sales and the spending, and you might think you’re getting a great bargain just because it says Christmas sale on it, but you might not be. The goal of the retailer is to get a slice of the billion dollar pie that is the Christmas industry. If you stick with your budget and you stick to being wise with your shopping, then you won’t be blinded by those sales signs. And you’ll take the time to shop for what you need and not for what the retailers tell you you need. Which, believe me, is a very big difference.
- Book your online delivery slot.
If you have your Christmas shopping delivered to you at home, then booking your Christmas delivery slot months in advance is a smart idea. You have to remember that all of the big shopping centers and retailers are going to be overrun with people wanting to make orders for Christmas, so you’re not going to be on your own in choosing to book early. Instead, you need to ensure that you are choosing to book in advance order online and therefore it’s squared away with no stress. It’s a good way to save money too, because when you book early often this comes with savings.
- Get free delivery.
Did you know that plenty of stores will offer free of charge delivery if you spend the minimum amount?
You can combine all of your orders in one place? So if you see something that’s perfect for your dad or brilliant for your mum, keep shopping inside that store because there might be something else for other people. Department stores are great for this because you’ll often find everything that you need in one place without having to shop online or go elsewhere.
- Save money by living by your list.
The whole point of a Christmas list is so that you can check against what you know that you need to get.If you stick to the exact list that you’ve put together, you are not going to go wrong and you are going to make a lot of savings. If you realize that you forgot something, then yes, add it to the list at the end, but make sure that you have the spare budget for it, otherwise they’ll just have to be at the top of your Christmas list next year instead.
- Go in on Secret Santa.
Secret Santa, especially if you have a big family, means that everybody gets a gift, nobody gets left out, and everybody is happy. This means that everybody also only has to buy one gift, which is so easy if you are buying for somebody overseas or you’re buying for somebody who’s close to you, but you can’t afford to buy for the whole family. If you like to go big at Christmas time, concentrate your budget on that one gift and make it the best Secret Santa gift I’ve ever received.