Ahhh Christmas! It’s the most wonderful time for the year for sure… And as you’ll already know, we LOVE Christmas in our household!
However, it’s a time of year that can also cause a lot of stress for people financially, which can kind of ruin the magic…
That’s why we’re sharing some of our top tips for staying under budget at Christmas time, which have helped us (and will hopefully help you!) to have a debt and stress-free Christmas.
Start a Christmas Savings Fund
Make a commitment to putting a little bit away every month – only as much as you can afford! But even if you’re doing something as simple as putting your loose change into a jar at the end of each day, you’ll be amazed at how much those pennies add up.
Another good way to do this is to set up a standing order or direct debit into an easy access savings account. If you transfer a set amount as soon as you get paid it will be in the account, and you won’t be tempted to spend it on something else.
There are also various companies such as Park who let you pay in to a savings account online throughout the year, then send you high street vouchers for the amount you’ve contributed in time for Christmas! You then have the option of giving the vouchers themselves to people as gifts, or spending them yourself on presents of your choice.
Some of the big supermarkets like Tesco also offer similar programmes for their loyalty card customers – this is a great way to soften the annual Christmas food shop blow! In addition, supermarkets these days have a range of quality, great value gifts to choose from.
Set an amount for gifts, and stick to it!
You don’t need to spend a fortune on expensive gifts, a cheaper but thoughtful option will be just as appreciated. It’s the thought that counts after all!
Set an amount for the maximum you’ll spend on each person. Be realistic, and remember you don’t have to spend the full amount! If you allocate £20 pounds to someone’s present and see the perfect gift on sale at a reduced price for £10 then that’s great! You could even put any savings into the Christmas fund for next year…
It can really be quite fun challenging yourself to stick within the budget when you’re gift shopping, and thinking of alternatives that your friends and family would love. You could even buy the materials to make your own handmade gifts – who doesn’t love the personal touch! This great article has a whole host of handmade gift ideas to please even the trickiest of recipients.
Try doing a Secret Santa
A Secret Santa is a great way of staying under-budget at Christmas time! Have you seen our recent article on our favourite Scentsy Secret Santa Gift Ideas?
Although Secret Santas are most common in the workplace, you can also do them with your family and friends – it also takes the stress out of buying multiple gifts and saves a LOT of time with your Christmas shopping.
Haven’t heard of it before? The general idea is that all the participants put their names into a hat, and everyone draws out a name. Nobody tells each other who they’ve picked out of the hat, so nobody knows who their gift will be from!
Everyone agrees on an amount to spend, and just before Christmas you all meet up (you can make this into a fun festive occasion and meet for a Christmassy lunch or drinks party!) and exchange gifts.
Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses!
Christmas isn’t, and should never be, a competition. Unfortunately a lot of people don’t seem to share this view, and as a result the festive holiday period can seem overly materialistic. Many people (especially parents) worry that their efforts aren’t good enough compared to those of their neighbours and acquaintances.
For a start, this completely goes against the spirit of Christmas, and is one of the main drivers behind people getting themselves into financial difficulty at this time of year. But more importantly (and on a personal note) if people are judging you because of the state of your Christmas tree or because you can’t afford lavish gifts, then honestly, they’re the type of people you DON’T need in your life!
Spend only what you can afford, and even if you love your house to be festooned with festive decor, there are ways of doing this that don’t cost a lot of money! Again think about creating handmade decorations, or take a look at your local markets and charity shops for cheaper (and often better) alternatives to the High Street chains.
Instead of spending a fortune on Christmas cards why not send virtual (and free!) eCards? Or get a festive photo of you and your family and post a greeting to family and friends on your social media.
Look for work from home opportunities to increase your income
You could get a part-time job that takes you out of the house, but this isn’t always practical, especially if you have young family.
However, there are some great options nowadays for flexible working and running your own business from home!
Scentsy is one of these, and when you become a Scentsy consultant you can work your own hours at your own pace. This means that whatever your financial goals are, they’re achievable, whether you want to earn enough to take care of the whole of your Christmas spending, you’d like a little extra money at the end of the month to put towards a special gift, or you’d just like to make sure you’re staying under budget at Christmas time!.
Joining is easy, and if you have any questions at all contact us – we absolutely love getting new consultants started and seeing them grow and succeed!
If you’re new to running your own business then take a look at our recent article 5 tips to running a successful home business (and two things to avoid!) where we share the advice that helped us to get to where we are with our business today!