Tips for Christmas on a budget
So, you've decided to do Christmas on a budget this year. Good for you! In today's uncertain economy, more families are trying to stretch their money as far as it will go.
So, you're definitely not the only one trying to cut back this year.
The good news is that it's not as hard as you might think to have Christmas on a budget.
Here are some tips to help you get started…
Creating a Christmas Budget
Many families don't save any money for Christmas. They put everything on their credit cards, and then pay it off in the months after Christmas. But by saving just a bit of money each month all year long, you can avoid those costly interest payments after Christmas. Why not start your Christmas budget now?
Make it a goal to set some money aside every month, starting now. Open a special savings account just for your Christmas spending, and don't dip into it until it's time to start Christmas shopping.
You could also set up a "change jar" for Christmas spending. Every day, dump your loose change into the jar. By the time December rolls around, you'll be amazed at how much you've unwittingly set aside.
Save money on Christmas
One way to save money on Christmas is to shop for presents all year round. Every time you see a sale, keep Christmas in mind. This way you can purchase items on discount, and then keep them hidden away until Christmas gets here.
It's important to analyse who you're buying Christmas presents for. If you're trying to save money then it might be smart to limit your giving this year. Distant relatives, work colleagues, and friends might need to be cut from the list. If you do decide to limit your gifting this year, then explain to friends and family why. Chances are, they're doing the same thing and will completely understand!
You can also save on Christmas by shopping for decorations in the January sales. Most stores mark their Christmas decorations down 50%-75% the week after Christmas. So by waiting, you can get incredible deals on decorations you can use next year.
Christmas parties can get really expensive. If you're trying to have Christmas on a budget, then be honest with your guests. Ask that everyone pitch in and bring a dish to the party to help keep costs down. Most people are very understanding, and will be happy to lend you a hand by bringing a dish. This will not only save you money, but time as well!
Many stores also put baking items like flour, sugar, and chocolate chips on sale around Christmas. So, stock up while it's on sale!
When it comes to having Christmas on a budget, you can save a lot of money simply by doing some things yourself. This means making your own decorations and presents.
For instance, why spend money on wrapping paper? You could use the comics from your local paper, your children's artwork, or glossy magazine pages. This creates and interesting looking presents, and it's a way to be kind to the environment by reusing these materials.
Christmas decorations don't have to be store-bought. Homemade is often just as nice, and brings so much character into your home! Use popcorn, cranberries, and dried limes as a garland around your tree. Use pinecones and acorns as ornaments. And, use pine branches as garland on your fireplace mantle.
Pictures and homemade artwork, especially from your children, also make great gifts. If you happen across a sale on frames during the year, stock up. Giving relatives framed drawings from your kids is a thoughtful, and inexpensive, gift.
Christmas Budget Worksheet
Here is a free worksheet for Christmas budgeting for you to use. Just follow the link given here to get full details and download options. Using a budgeting worksheet to plan Christmas will show you the true cost and help you keep your finances under control.
Christmas Money Saving Ideas for 10 ideas to save money on Christmas
Other Budget Worksheet themes
Having Christmas on a budget doesn't mean you have to go without, or drastically reduce gifts for your loved ones. Planning in advance, especially by shopping in sales throughout the year, can make a huge difference to how much you spend. And, putting money back each month leading up to Christmas can help you avoid those credit card blues come January.
Budgeting Steps > Christmas on a Budget