12 Money-saving tips for Christmas
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year yet the most expensive one. Parties here, there, and everywhere, buying presents to people close to your heart, doing Christmas shopping, etc. The festive season is notorious for being a budget-buster. However, there are a lot of alternative ways you can consider to save money this season without sacrificing any of the holiday experience. Here are 12 creative ways to enjoy Christmas without breaking the bank.
♫ On the first day of Christmas, Budgetarian said to me — to set a Christmas budget
If you want to be on Santa’s nice list, better to have a budget ready this Christmas so you can watch out your expenditures — so as to “not cry” and “not pout”. There are different ways to budget — you can either set a general budget for all gifts you will buy or allocate a specific amount to each person on your gift list. Whatever method of budgeting you use, one thing is for sure: you need one.
♫ On the second day of Christmas, Budgetarian said to me — track your spending
Having a budget will be of no use if you don’t keep track of your spending. Nowadays, there are several ways we can do to keep an eye on our spending. You can go to the traditional pen and paper method where you list down all the things you spend for or you can be digital in terms of tracking your spending. For digital way it can either be through a spreadsheet software or money-managing app that can be downloaded in your smartphones. Personally, I use the digital way and I use money-managing app on my mobile phone for daily expenses and I use spreadsheet method for the summary of my monthly expenses.
♫ On the third day of Christmas, Budgetarian said to me — check your list twice
Christmas shopping can be overwhelming. After all, there are a lot of things where you should put your money for — gifts, food, decorations, etc. Also, there is a higher chance of doing impulse shopping as most of the stores are offering “great deals” to attract customers. To avoid impulsive shopping, make sure to make a list — and check it twice. Have a breakdown of your expenses for easy tracking — food, gifts, decorations, etc. By doing a double check on your list, you are able to find some things that you don’t really need hence crossing off to your list.
♫ On the fourth day of Christmas, Budgetarian said to me — shop earlier
It is always advisable to do your Christmas shopping ahead of time as this will give you more time to think of what are the things you need to buy. In addition, prices are usually going higher as Christmas is approaching as there is a high demand for goods — so it can be stressful to you and to your wallet. So start early to avoid the last minute panic.
♫ On the fifth day of Christmas, Budgetarian said to me — share the meal cost
Christmas is all about spending time with your friends or family. So if you happened to host a party, encourage your guests to do a potluck instead of you to shoulder all the food cost and cooking. By allowing others to bring food to parties, it saves you money, time and energy of preparing food. Plus, it makes Christmas celebration merrier as you’ve got the time to spend it with your loved ones.
♫ On the sixth day of Christmas, Budgetarian said to me — don’t buy new clothes
Parties here and everywhere — and some parties have themes where you should dress up. Christmas season doesn’t mean you should buy new clothes to have something to wear at parties you have to attend to. If you are just going to use the outfit once, you can either borrow from a friend or check your wardrobe if there is something you can use. You can also be more creative by trying to mix and match your clothes. Don’t worry, nobody will realize that it’s not new — and it won’t matter anyway.
♫ On the seventh day of Christmas, Budgetarian said to me — do recycle gifts
If you received a lot of gifts last Christmas, then it would be good to recycle those gifts for the upcoming Christmas — just make sure that you won’t give that recycled gift to the person who originally gave to you! To do this, keep the Christmas card attached to the gift itself (to determine who gave it to you) and rewrap the gifts for the new recipient. It is one good way to share your blessings to others, too, since the gifts are in excess on what you receive. On the flip side, if you are not keen on this method, then you can also opt to give gifts made of recycled materials.
♫ On the eighth day of Christmas, Budgetarian said to me — avoid Christmas sales traps
As the festivities are fast approaching, more and more establishments are doing Christmas sales and offering “great deals” and “special offers” to entice more consumers to shop more. These establishments usually tell you that you will save up to XX% and you have to do your shopping now as you might miss out on this “great deal”. However, the sad truth is that, they encourage you more to spend money rather than saving it by doing impulse shopping. This is not to say that those deals aren’t real — there are still some of the items out there that are legit money savers. So, avoid falling into this trap by having a strong eye on the thousands of deals offered and have strong sense of discipline to buy the things you only need.
♫ On the ninth day of Christmas, Budgetarian said to me — save on wrapping paper
There are lot of ways you can do to save on wrapping paper. Some of the establishments are giving additional paper bags when you buy from them which you can use on your gift wrapping. You can also opt to those stores who are selling wrapping paper in bundles in order for you to save one. Or, you can also use recycled paper as your gift wrap. After all, the gift inside is what really matters and Christmas wrapping paper gets destroyed anyway so it is not wise to spend money on something that will eventually be destroyed.
♫ On the tenth day of Christmas, Budgetarian said to me — make your own gifts
One of the best ways to save money this Christmas is to make your own gifts at home. Doing homemade gifts makes it extra special as you are giving more effort to make them and it offer a sentimental touch that you cannot find in any store. You can consider crafting, baking goods, homemade candles, etc. There are many ways you can consider, just do a search on the internet and find the ones that you can do.
♫ On the eleventh day of Christmas, Budgetarian said to me — know the true meaning of Christmas
Christmas is not about gift giving but rather, Christmas is about the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ and spending time with your family and friends. Sometimes, people forget the true meaning of Christmas and feel obligated to give gifts so take time to talk to your friends and family and remind them the real meaning of Christmas and that you prefer their presence over their presents.
♫ On the twelfth day of Christmas, Budgetarian said to me — plan for next Christmas
It really pays to have a good plan for next Christmas. Once the Christmas is done, all Christmas-related merchandise will all be cut price as there’s a little to no demand for these items. Also, planning ahead gives you more time to save up for next Christmas and a lot of time to buy gifts. You can save up a portion of your income to a separate account that is dedicated for Christmas spending. You can also shop around for gifts in advance as there are several mall sales that are coming prior to Christmas time. Take advantage of the lean moments to save up money on Christmas spending.