As it’s getting colder outside, we’re all wrapping up warm, scraping the ice off of our cars, lighting the fire.. There’s no doubt about it. Christmas is coming. In fact there’s only about 4 weeks left. (Yep - we’re terrified too).
It’s so easy to get swept up in the festivities and end up with major money worries when January comes around. It happens every year, we’ve probably all been guilty of getting carried away turning the house into something that even Father Christmas would be envious of, with wonderfully colourful fairy lights, and spending way too much on stocking fillers ready for Christmas morning.
We’ve been thinking about a few ways to cut some of the costs, and try to stop the money drought that happens come January.
- Get creative with your decorations - we know how tempting it is, you’re going round the shops and seeing all these beautiful decorations, that new must-have style of tinsel, those gold plated silver sparkly dancing singing baubles... but instead of spending money on things that usually end up getting lost behind the sofa in the process of decorating, why not get the kids together (or if you’re up to the challenge do it yourself) and make some decorations? Here's a list of some absolutely beautiful DIY decorations.
- Family Secret Santa - this obviously won’t work in every case, but sometimes (especially those with bigger families) a secret santa system can be really effective. Not only do you save money by only buying one or two presents for the family, but you don’t have to take responsibility if they make the “oh good, socks again” face.
- Buy a fake one instead -We’re talking Christmas trees, obviously. There may not be a smell quite like that of a real tree in your living room, but that smell doesn’t come cheap. Plus you end up with a nearly naked tree by the time Christmas comes around as half of it’s pins are embedded in your floor and pets. Pick up an artificial tree for a fraction of the price. (And a fraction of the after Christmas cleaning).
- Don’t aim to feed a small country with your food shopping - Now, trust us when we tell you we LOVE food. Especially Christmas food. And we are only too aware of how tempting it is to create a feast at Christmas worthy of Henry VIII. But chances are, even with the obligatory boxing day leftovers feast, you’ll still have a scary amount of food left after it’s all fresh and ready to eat. Why not skip all the extras no one is actually that fussed about (we vote ditch the sprouts) and just stick to the known favourites.
- Switch the shop bought Christmas Cards - and swap them for a handwritten note. Even better, make the kids draw them something! But rather than buying cards (which depending how many people you plan on giving cards to can get expensive) keep it a little sentimental and money saving, by adding a personal touch. Everyone knows the cards are just the ‘bit before the present’ anyway, and this way they not only save you money, but they become part of the present as well.
These are just a few of an endless list of ways to keep to your Christmas budget without skipping on the magic.
But whatever you do, don’t skimp on the milk, cookies and carrot for Father Christmas and that red nosed reindeer of his...