Christmas is upon us; the decorations are up & when we look out our windows, snow is starting to fall… It really is a beautiful time of year!
But, are you guilty of spending too much at Christmas? & then taking the next several months just to pay off credit cards? This can be frustrating!
There are so many expenses; food, presents, travel, decorations, parties etc.. Here are some ways to save at Christmas & make it easier on your wallet (hence making it stress free & way more enjoyable)!!
Write a list of who you buy for & set a budget on what you will spend on gifts. Do the same for all the other areas you spend; food, travel etc.. Is this budget reasonable for you? If not, consider where you can cut back.
Can you suggest to family or friends drawing names? This would mean only one gift to purchase. You could alternatively spend less on each individual or cut your list back. Simply explain that you are no longer able to exchange gifts; people should understand. If there’s a group of you who normally exchange, suggest getting together for a meal instead!
You could also consider homemade gifts, if you’re talented that way!
Start looking for gifts as early as possible so that you can shop the sales when they happen. If you wait until the last minute, you may purchase gifts impulsively, just to have something under the tree!
You could start a Christmas savings account. While too late for this year, starting in January, consider putting aside a little money each month for next Christmas.
How to Get the Best Deals
Sometimes annoying but giving stores your email so that you’ll be notified when they’re having a sale!
Compare store prices with online deals; sometimes you save more ordering from the comfort of your home! Definitely compare your prices & shop around.
One thing that I’ve started using for my online shopping is Ebates. This website offers cash back for shopping online at the stores you’d normally shop at anyway (Amazon.ca, Indigo.ca, eBay, Old Navy, Forever 21, Groupon etc. – over 750 stores) + it’s free to sign-up; win win! If you shop online, you need ebates!
These can be expensive; food, drinks, babysitting, new clothes to wear to the party etc. etc.! First off, can you wear something you already own? The guys may be saying “of course” & the girls “no way!” 😉 Could you just purchase one new piece, say a blouse to go with an existing skirt/pant? Also, consider shopping consignment, you may be surprised at the quality you’ll find! Or “shop” in a good friend/sisters closet; one that isn’t going to the same party;)
Set a budget for what you’ll spend that evening & consider only taking cash (when it’s gone, it’s gone!)
If it’s a private house party, consider a homemade hostess gift. Can you bake? Make your own wine? Little savings like this add up!
Plan your meal and start grocery shopping early for things you can get ahead. Watch the flyers; price match when possible! Make your own desserts rather than purchasing them. If family members offer to bring something, let them…this will help financially and time wise!
Christmas is a time for family & friends to be together, not a time to worry about finances! I hope you can incorporate some of these tips into your holiday planning and truly enjoy the season!