Written by: Shani Fowler
It’s probably true to say that most of us can be prone to throwing a little caution to the wind around Christmas time where our finances are concerned. All that Christmas cheer and over indulgence can be quite contagious. But come January along with the cold and gloom, our credit card statements just add to the misery as they land on the door mat with a rather heavy thud! Can we do Christmas on a budget and still get the same enjoyment out of it? Let’s have a look at where we could possible shave a few pounds off our Christmas spending on gifts!
Online auction purchases
One man’s waste is another man’s treasure! You can often buy toys and games on auction sites such as eBay, that will cost a lot less than buying them from stores. Remember children get bored with their toys and often the things for sale have hardly been used – some things will even be brand new! Keep a special look out for things like kiddie kitchens or shops that clean up really well too. Also remember when your kids have outgrown it – re-auction – keep the cheap goods carousel going and also getting a bit of your own cash back too!
Snap up a charity bargain
Hunt round the charity shops and have a good old rummage. Many people give unwanted gifts straight to charity shops, often in the condition they were originally bought. They are then are re-sold at a fraction of the cost. When you see something – grab it straight away and save it. A cheaper present and a contribution to charity – a double bonus!
Don’t wait until Christmas to do your Christmas shopping. Keep your eyes peeled all year round, there are sales on or discounts made somewhere all year round. If you are out shopping and stumble on discounts get them and and save them – but remember to keep a list and jot it down so you don’t forget – or you could end up buying two presents for the same person, completely defeating the object.
Instead of getting Nana the traditional lavender and handkerchief gift set – get the kids faces put on a mugs, mouse mats or a calendar made. It is the great personal touch that all the grandparents love. There are often some great online deals to be had giving you the big savings and nana and granddad the big smiles.
Set the limits!
It’s not just about what you can save – agree what you will spend! There is nothing worse than opening a present that someone has clearly spent a fortune on, knowing you didn’t go quite “the whole hog” on theirs! You might spend the rest of Christmas day cringing every time you think of it! Agree with people you buy for to set limits on spending for you and kids – they will be as relieved as you to know that there are going to be no stings in the gift tail.
If you have a few people that like the same things, buy some Christmas bags and fill them with a few goodies. You can add things such as smellies that are on offer, buy one get one free or buy little sale items to add in. You can spend a tenner but it can look like a lot more.
Christmas shouldn’t be all about the spending leaving you with a mighty headache come the New Year. Setting limits, budgeting and keep a look out for gifts all year round can pay dividends in the long run leaving you feeling a little more relaxed and able to enjoy the important thing about Christmas – family time.