December is my favourite time of the year. I love Christmas and the whole festive build up. Playing Christmas songs, drinking hot chocolate, seeing friends and family and of course, buying everyone’s Christmas presents. As wondeful as this time of year is, it can be expensive. Whether you are a student, at school or simply on a budget to save some money this year, I’ve put together a few tips that help me not to go to crazy when I’m shopping for everyone’s gifts (as much as I would like to!)
Set yourself a budget for each person
Write out a list (….and check it twice. Sorry, bad cracker joke for you) of everyone you need to buy presents for. Include family, friends, pets, Secret Santa’s – make sure not to miss anybody! This is normally the shocking part, beause you can see exactly how many people you need to buy for!
Now, set yourself a realistic budget for each person. Stick to this budget, whether it is £10 or £50. This way, you can be sure that the festive season will only cost you the total you plan out in the beginning, no suprises. Don’t feel bad if you need to lower some of the budgets – the lovely people around you would all prefer you to be sensible with money than spend more than you can afford than them. Then you can get creative with the gifts!
I know a lot of people like to save the festive fun until mid-Decemeber, but starting early means that the cost can be spread out rather than all in one hit. Sharing the cost over 2 paydays rather than one means that your bank account will thank you for it. The bonus of this means that you get to feel Christmassy a little bit early each year. Which I would say, is a definite bonus.
Use deals and offers, but with caution
With Black Friday, Cyber Monday and 3 for 2 offers, there are so many tempting deals out there. Stick to the rule that you’ll only buy things in the Black Friday hype that you planned on getting anyway. Avoid buying things just because they are a bargain. Yes, that beauty set woth £200 reduced to £60 is a great deal…but also, it is £60 of your budget gone.
So, have a look around to see which Christmas deals are worth investing in. This is where online shopping comes in handy. Also, now is a great time to use up any store points you might have, like Tesco Vouchers or Boots Advantage cards points.
Make DIY Christmas gifts!
There is nothing quite like a homemade Christmas gift. Whether it is a DIY terrarium or a homemade beauty box, it is an affordable way to make a present that is special and personalised. A few ideas include a scrapbook, a hamper, something sweet like fudge or biscuits, make something like a scarf or a blanket, hot chocolate mix etc. My favourite has to be a terrarium though. I’ve made plenty of these already!
What are your tips for doing Christmas on a budget?