Did you know that it’s entirely possible to have a heartwarming, joyful festive season on a budget. What if this month wasn’t about how much money is spent, but is rather about creativity, love, and valuing each other. In this month’s blog we help you navigate the maze of holiday expenses and we’ve come up with clever ways to make Christmas not just affordable, but memorable too.
Save on Christmas Shopping
Shopping for Christmas doesn’t have to drain your bank account and leave you with a lot of debt in January. You can find great gifts without spending a lot of money if you know what to do. Start your shopping early if you want to stick to a budget. Throughout the year, keep an eye out for sales. A lot of stores offer big discounts on popular gift items, so you can get some great deals. Also, if you shop early, you can escape the crowds and higher prices that come with shopping at the last minute.
Embrace DIY gifts
To save money, embrace an ‘elf mentality’ and make some gifts yourself. DIY gifts, like baked goods, home made photo albums, or a personalised playlist, are often more meaningful than store-bought things. In addition, making these gifts can be a satisfying and fun part of the holiday season. It’s also great to get the kids involved so they feel like they are part of something special. There are so many great ideas for homemade gifts online. Like baking your famous brownies and packaging them in an inexpensive jar. Find something you can make well and then pour your heart into creating it for your loved ones!
Create your own Christmas decorations
You can save a lot of money by making your own Christmas decorations, plus it’s really fun to do with the kids. You might even end up with some ornaments you will love forever. The internet is full of ideas for making things. Here are some of the best ones:
- Rosemary wreaths: To make small wreaths for the table, tie rosemary sprigs together in rings and decorate them.
- Citrus slices: Cut lemons, oranges, and limes into 1cm thick pieces and dry them in a low oven for 3–4 hours. When they’re dry, you can hang them on the tree and they’ll look and smell beautiful.
- Shiny baubles: To make these for Christmas, cut up old CDs into small pieces (watch out for sharp edges) and glue the shiny side to trinkets.
Consider a gift exchange
If you have a lot of family or friends, you might want to plan a White Elephant or Secret Santa gift swap. Everyone gets one great gift, and since everyone only has to buy one thing, the cost is low for everyone.
Get ready for next year
Plan for next year based on how much you spent this Christmas. Make a budget early on and start saving right away. This is also a great way to learn from your mistakes: If you found that your finances were too tight this year, use this as a chance to change how you do things. This could mean making a tighter budget, starting your shopping earlier, or looking for even more cost effective ways to give gifts. Smart steps like these will help you handle any money worries you have after Christmas and make next year’s holiday season easier to manage.
The bottom line
At the end of the day, Christmas is not about the bells and whistles. It’s time we got back to basics and re-focus on sharing, connecting and making memories. Don’t get pulled into ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ and find clever thrifty ways to focus on what counts and keep your hard earned Rands for other more important things. Wishing you a wonderful Festive season, may it be a truly memorable one!