Christmas is a hectic and expensive time of year. From festive parties, to food shopping and gift shopping the bills add up quickly. Not to mention the dreaded electricity and heating bills go up this time of year. It can be a particularly stressful time if you have a large family to buy for.
Here are 6 pointers I have put together to guide you through this festive time of year.
Have a budget. Before you go splashing the cash make yourself a budget. Budget for gifts and for food shopping and then stick to those budgets to avoid overspending. Christmas is just one day of the year so don’t start the new year in debt; spend sensibly.
Look for discounts and bargains where possible. When it comes to the Christmas food shopping why not switch to own brands and get yourself a frozen turkey. No doubt this will save you a few pounds. Sign up for loyalty programmes with supermarkets, clothes shops, chemists, restaurants etc., and collect points and rewards over the spending season.
When it comes to half the bird being leftover, use it. Make a turkey curry and freeze it or make turkey sandwiches for boxing day. There are loads of leftover recipes on the internet – get Googling! But there’s no excuse to waste food and your money.
Shop online for even more deals. Websites like eBay and Amazon are great for getting just about everything at a bargain price. You can also do the food shopping if you are low on time. One good thing about buying online is that it will help you from those annoying impulse purchases. But the downside is that you don’t get the Christmassy feel.
If you do opt to buy online remember to factor in delivery costs. A lot of retailers may offer free delivery but most will charge you for it. It’s also worth noting that some listings on eBay will be collection only which means you must arrange your own delivery, if you don’t live nearby. If this is the case, you can get free quotes from websites like Shiply.com. This is a delivery comparison site where couriers bid for your delivery driving the prices down.
When it comes to new decorations and Christmas cards, why not let the kids make them? They are cute and will be sentimental in years to come. It will also keep the little ones busy and you will be doing your bit for the environment in the process.
Book Travel Early
If you are visiting relatives over the Christmas period and need to get a train or bus etc., then book in advance; do not leave it until the last minute. The closer to Christmas you leave it, the more expensive it will be.
Do you have any budget tips for Christmas?