Just because you have a tight budget that doesn’t mean you have to skip Christmas altogether. When Christmas is coming many people begin feeling overwhelmed by the stress of being able to afford everything. Sadly money gets in the way of actually remembering what Christmas is really about. Even if you’re not religious the act of spending time with loved ones is far more important than impressing people with extravagant gifts and meals that are far too big for anyone to eat over several days, let alone one.
Make Your Budget Stretch Further
Work out how much money you are going to be able to comfortably spend. It doesn’t have to be a lot, ensure you are able to pay your usual bills and don’t skip any, or you’ll regret it as soon as January arrives. If you’re very short of funds try and find ways of raising some extra cash. Take on a second job, freelance or sell some of your old belongings. All the extra money you can raise should go directly to Christmas and if you raise more than you need, spend it on getting your debts down quicker.
Shopping Online Pays Off
You may have been avoiding shopping online but there’s no need to fight it. If you need to watch your spending, use online shopping to your advantage. Look for free delivery and returns and begin comparing the prices of the items you’re thinking of buying as gifts. You’ll often find much better deals with a little investigation. If you do like to support local traders attend the markets that are held in the run up to Christmas, but don’t neglect the benefits of online shopping if it means you’re able to spread your money further.
The Little Luxuries
You don’t need to forget about the little luxuries that are synonymous with Christmas. Crackers, nuts, fruits and chocolates are always enjoyed more at this time of year. Be careful with your grocery shopping, buy only the amount of food you’re actually able to eat. Avoid the three for two’s and buy one get one free deals especially if you often find yourself throwing away food each week.
Plan out your meals and buy only what you need and remember that shops open the day after Christmas, so you don’t need to go mad! The money you save by being selective about the amount you buy can be put towards the extras so everyone can enjoy the treats and festive fun.
Cut Down on your Bills
If you’re worried about how much you’ve already spent see if you can cut down on the cost of living that will hit you at the end of December and in the New Year. Look at the bills you pay for items that aren’t essential to your standard of living. Extra’s such as satellite television can be swapped over for freeview, you can find cheaper Internet and phone deals, and switch your utility suppliers. Every penny counts!
Image attributed to: freedigitalphotos.net Jomphong