This time of year can be depressing and even down-right terrifying when you are short of cash.
The increasingly materialistic world that we live in bombards us with messages that make us want to part with our money, if you have the money, that’s fine. However if you don’t, here’s a reminder that Christmas isn’t all about how many expensive gifts you find under your tree come Christmas morning.
Christmas is about joy, it’s about giving, it’s about family, it’s about down-time and it’s about fun. So let’s get to it..
Set a budget.
And set it as early on as you can! Make sure you include all Christmas expenses, that includes travel costs, decorations, food, wrapping paper, presents, cards. Budget for every expense that comes along with Christmas. Keep a note of your budget in your wallet, make sure you update how much you have left every time you buy something from your Christmas expense list.
Spread The Love, Don’t Splash The Cash.
Never, ever feel obliged to buy people gifts. Christmas is about much more than that and if people don’t appreciate that, then sod ’em. Of course, some gifts need to be purchased, but think hard about the gifts that you get. Are you buying it simply so that you have something to give, or are you buying it because you know that the person that receives it will love it?
Try and make as many gifts as you can home-made, or rescued. Everyone loves food, right? Well there are MILLIONS of recipes out there that can be given as gifts. My favourite one is Panforte, check out the recipe
I promise you this heavy, spiced Christmas delight will bring plenty of joy over the festive time!
There are so many more hand made gifts that you could make, get some inspiration on my Pinterest Thrifty Christmas board.
At Home With The Ones You Love
While it can be easy to say yes to the 3 office Christmas parties you are invited to, it can be much more rewarding to say no. If you’re strapped for cash don’t blow it on outfits, taxi’s and drinks. Have a night in with your loved ones, make a tasty home-made meal, talk. Hell you could even have a game of Twister. Your loved ones are the most important people at this time of year, dedicate some quality time to them and save yourself some pennies.
There is no better small than a real Christmas tree and extensive research (by me!) has revealed that it’s cheaper to buy a real tree too. Don’t be fooled into thinking you need a huge tree either, a five footer looks amazing if it’s placed on some kind of stand (we’re using a box table, turned on it’s side!). Believe it or not, you don’t even need to fork out lots of money on something to stand your tree up in. Grab a cheap terracotta pot, a bag of compost and make sure it’s nicely nestled down in that soil!
You can even grab some decorations for free, take a walk in your local woods and find some holly, mistletoe and the like, arrange it around your home and bring some natural festive cheer to your home.
Be shop savvy!
Right now, massive companies are rubbing their hands together and counting your cash. They are sticking what looks like an amazing deal under your nose, everywhere you look! But, sometimes these deals aren’t as good as they appear on the surface.
Make sure you write a list before you go and grab the things you need to pull off the perfect thrifty Christmas. Head to your local butcher instead of Sainsbury’s, barter with him if you’re brave enough. Don’t be fooled by ‘Buy one get one free’ offers, buy ONLY as much as you need. You will save on waste and save on cash too.
Make sure you shop around, Christmas is a busy time but if you can set some time to find the best deals, you may just avoid spending hundreds of pounds in your local supermarket.
Above all, a very Merry Christmas to you!