When it comes to Christmas, men have a bad reputation for doing all their shopping on Christmas Eve, with an estimated 17 million people leaving it to the last minute. This often means gifts are less thoughtful and cost more. It’s easy to overindulge in your spending on gifts, decorations and food, only to be left with facing your finances in the new year. Fear not, you can do an amazing Christmas on a budget without looking like you’re broke, but you need to be more organized and put in a bit of effort.
Set Your Budget
Before you even start thinking about buying anything, you need to know what you can afford. Set a budget that won’t leave you struggling but means you can still enjoy the season. If you have credit cards or loans, you can combine the money owed for affordable repayments that will make life more comfortable and offer you more flexibility on your spending, while providing peace of mind about your gift purchases this Christmas. Family and friends will be happy with personalized gifts that a lot of thought went into, so you don’t need to splash out.
Sticking To Your Budget
Now that you have your budget, you need to commit to sticking to it. Write a list of where your money will be spent, such as on decorations, gifts, food and seasonal outings. Divide your budget between these based on how much you expect each should cost. Shopping online will usually be cheaper than in stores, plus you can keep track of how much you’ll spend and adjust your basket if you need to. You can also use cashback websites to get a bit of what you spend back. If there’s something you want that you would usually buy yourself, learn some patience and ask for it as a present instead.
Christmas Food And Parties
A big Christmas tradition is the food and drink, which isn’t something you’re going to want to sacrifice. If you’re hosting a Christmas party, ask everyone to bring a dish or a bottle with them to save you some cash. You could also ask family or friends if they can host this year and you’ll do next year to give you time to get your finances sorted. The same applies to Christmas day dinner, but if you are the one hosting this year there’s ways to save some money. Many stores will be offering discounts on Christmas food and drink, so it pays to shop around to get the best deals. Work out how many guests you’ll have and don’t buy more than you need, as many people tend to do.
Having a budget and skimping a little through the festive period doesn’t mean you won’t have a great one. If anything, you won’t have the stress that comes with the financial burdens, so you’ll probably feel better for it and other people will see that.