Christmas is an awfully expensive time of year for most people. Not only do you have to spend money on food, drink, and decorations, you need to buy a boatload of presents for your loved ones too. People often spend way more than they’d like on this occasion. But what can you do to curb your spending? Read on to find out:
Set a Budget
First of all, you need to set a budget for your spending. Make sure this is a realistic budget, as you can’t go over it once you’ve set it. You’ll need to allocate a sufficient amount of present spending money to each person you plan on buying for, without going overboard. Make sure you include all of the other things you’ll be buying around Christmas time too, so you don’t spend too much on presents with nothing left over for food or drink. Also include how much it will cost to send your gifts with a service such as Collect My Parcel if you must post them.
Shop around for presents rather than buying at the first place you see. If you know what you’re looking for, make sure you look online as well as in person. You don’t want to find out that you could have saved money buying a gift from another store.
Make Them Yourself
Instead of buying gifts, why not make them yourself? This is a cheap and effective way to give gifts. Not only will it cost you a fraction of the price as a normal gift, it’ll look so much more thoughtful. You’ll need to put a little extra effort in, but it’ll be appreciated by the receiver. You could make chocolates, pictures, photo albums, frames, or something else that the receiver will appreciate.
Starting early has a number of benefits over shopping last minute. Not only will you be more organised and free from stress, it’s been proven that people who started early were less likely to overspend. Make sure you leave yourself plenty of time.
Look But Don’t Touch
When you’re shopping in person, make sure you look at things but avoid touching them. That is, unless you’re absolutely sure you’re going to buy it. Touching something when shopping gives us feelings of ownership, which can make it harder to put something back or decide we don’t need it. Did you know that a lot of people now buy themselves gifts when Christmas shopping too? This can add as much as £150 on to your final bill! Avoid buying gifts for yourself and stick to buying them for other people. Hopefully your loved ones will return your generosity and you’ll have plenty of gifts anyway. Feel free to get yourself a nice Christmas day outfit, but don’t impulse buy yourself any gifts.
If you use these tips, I guarantee you’ll save money. Nobody wants to get into debt after the festive season, so make sure you’re sensible. If you have any tips, feel free to leave a comment!