Although the ideal version of christmas is to be family centric and enjoying the little things in life, it has become an opportunity to increase vanity. A society of “look what I’ve got” has taken over, causing everyone’s purses to become depleted at at the end of the festive season. This is why I have a few top tips to saving a few pennies this month.
Start with buying presents as early as possible. I started in September, and although seeming early, I had almost 30 people to buy for, causing stress stress and more stress. I tackled this by making a list of who I needed to buy for, alongside a rough budget for each. What I love so much about buying early is that everything isn’t so Christmas focused in stores, and you can actually find great gifts without the added Christmas premium.
Save money in the run up to Christmas. This sounds like a given, and something that is easier said than done, trust me I know. However, I found this relatively simple – what I did was open a savings account (I made one with Tesco, which allowed me to withdraw at any time, no charge) and sent any additional shrapnel from my debit account onto this card. In turn it, it allowed me to always have a round number within my main account, and build up excess cash without it hurting too much. This method allowed me to save around £30 a week.
This is one of the most costly parts of Christmas – Impulse buying. I cannot even count the amount of times I have thought “oh so and so would love that”, even though they already have a present wrapped and ready to go. All these really do add up, and can create a very costly Christmas. I find that many impulse purchases also end up being tack – clearly items that no one needs or will use. Just reducing these little purchases will truly save a lot in the long run.
What also seems to add up – giving every man and a dog a Christmas card. I know this is relatively inexpensive, but I always find myself needing more than one box. Next thing you know I have got 70 odd people to give a card to, many of whom who have ran out of space for another one, or ends up alongside the plethora of cards.
Saving money could just begin with not spending so much on food. Every year I end up impulse buying food depending on what supermarkets have to offer. Next thing you know, Christmas Eve consists of choosing which 1 of 3 choices I want for dinner. The same on Christmas Day, when I always purchase an extravagant dessert, realising my mistake soon after I begin to eat and realise that is not going to happen with the bloat carried forward from Christmas Lunch. Only purchase what you can consume folks. Also, shopping around is the perfect way to bring down the cost – especially when purchasing raw ingredients and vegetables – Asda for example usually have bags of carrots for less than 20p every year.
I know stocking fillers are a great idea to get excited for Christmas, but remember the little things do not have to be expensive – thoughtful presents really do go a lot further. One year my parents put all my favourite fruit in my stocking – I mean maybe it was a hint but a nice touch nonetheless.
Instead of giving large presents to all those close to you, consider reducing the amount you give and in return give to a charity of your choice. At this time, it is needed more than ever, and Christmas is all about giving after all. This year I am going to donate to a homeless charity – at this time of year it is way too cold for anyone to be on the streets, and if I can do anything to help then it’s surely worth it.
Remember, Christmas is not about the big gestures and the fancy decorations – it is about being with the ones you love and enjoying the moment. The cost to this is minimal, so there is no reason to extend your means when happiness can be shared in many other ways.
I hope this post has helped, if you have any more suggestions, please comment below!