Budgeting for Christmas – Easy Tips to Cut Costs
It can be tough to live within your means at the best of times, so budgeting for Christmas is no easy feat. We’ve put together a few simple stress-free solutions to help you cut costs.
Avoid spending a fortune on your nearest and dearest by organising a Secret Santa. You can set a manageable budget that everyone sticks to and buy something fun or personal.
Find it tricky to organise? Try an online Secret Santa organiser like Elfster – a platform for gift-giving between family and friends that’s easy and fun to use.
Host at Home
If you want to celebrate with friends, but don’t want to spend a fortune going out, dig out your favourite Christmas jumpers and have a drinks party at home. Ask everyone to bring a bottle and get a few friends to bring something to eat.
An easy, cheap, and delicious treat (which can also be given as a present) are our Festive Florentines. They’re simple to make and packed with wonderful wintery flavours like chocolate, ginger, sour cherries and toasted nuts. Check out the recipe here
Shop Smart Online
If you’re buying multiple presents for family and friends, be clever about it. There are lots of deals to be found online, you just need patience and a bit of imagination. Here are our top tips:
Amazon Warehouse, eBay Outlets and Facebook Marketplace all offer discounted goods. Whether they are ‘warehouse-damaged’ (e.g. box has been opened), end-of-line, vintage or refurbished items, there’s lots of bargains to be found.
Almost all online retailers ask you to subscribe to their newsletter when you arrive on their site. If (like us) you usually ignore this, think twice! Most ‘welcome’ emails include around a 10% discount which you can use on your first purchase. And often, regular newsletters include random discounts or alert you to ‘flash sales’.
Another sneaky way to get a discount for a specific item is to add it to your basket, leave it there and exit the page. If you’re signed in, the retailer will usually email you a reminder and sometimes offer you a discount to purchase (N.B. This doesn’t work for ASOS as your ‘bag’ moves to ‘saved items’ after 1hour – some other sites do this too).
For more in depth online money-saving tips, check out Sophie’s contribution to Moneywise.
Prepare for next Christmas
Spread the cost of Christmas by buying presents throughout the year. Yes, this takes some planning, but if approached in an organised way, you will ease some of the festive pressure and thank yourself for it in December!
Make a list of everyone you buy for and assign a budget
Keep track of spending in a spreadsheet or in notes on your phone
Take advantage of sales throughout the year
In January, set yourself a goal to put aside £20 a month for a ‘festive fund’ – by December you will have £240 to spend over Christmas!
For more ideas on budgeting for Christmas, check out Money Saving Expert’s 44 Christmas Money Saving Tips.