Saving for Christmas

       

Carl Bower

Planning for Christmas effectively will help to ensure that you can get the most out of the holiday season. Planning ahead and planning early can help to make sure that you are not only prepared for all of the holiday gatherings across the festive break, but that you can be prepared to give some of the best gifts. Here are some of the best savings tips on how you can stretch your budget further as well as make sure that you have enough money to make for a Christmas where you aren't so worried about your finances and look to direct payday lenders to cover the extra.

Start a Christmas fund early

If you put away £50 or even £25 every month for the year, you can have an extra £300-£600 available over Christmas that you can put towards entertaining and even some last-minute gifts. Having this Christmas fund to make sure that you have a bit of extra money that you can use towards entertaining and budgeting throughout the year. Even if you don't want to save through the whole year, taking the time to save up 3 to 4 months before the holiday shopping season will help make the process of buying gifts much easier rather than trying to fit them into your current budget.

Keep a Christmas list year round

If you can keep a number of Christmas items in mind for every person on your gift list you can very quickly check throughout the early holiday shopping season to get those items on sale. Picking up some of your favorite items on sale will make sure that you can spread some of that holiday spending and have great gifts available for everyone at discounted prices. Spreading your holiday shopping out throughout the year will also make the stress of having to pick up all of the last-minute items on your gift list nearly fade away.


Christmas presents ready to be opened

Shop for festive food throughout the year

Items like turkeys and ham vary in price so shop around. Rather than going out towards Christmas Eve and picking up a turkey, you could have a wide selection available at this time and keep the items frozen until you have to take them out for Christmas dinner. You can also work on spreading out some of your food costs for fresh items by stocking up on a number of frozen goods and canned goods that you can keep on hand for the month of December. Rather than having to buy all of your own fresh groceries and the meals for entertaining, you will have some extra money left in your budget because of all of the extra canned and frozen items that you bought on sale throughout the rest of the year. A chest freezer can be a huge help with stocking up for the Christmas season and making sure that you have enough food not just for entertaining but for spreading your budget further buy slowly loading it up through the rest of the year. This way you can avoid any cashflow crisis. However, if that situation does arise then you may find payday loans a possible solution.

Top festive food that you can prepare in advance

Reduce the stress of the big day and make a tasty Christmas food long before the main event.

  • Stuffing
  • Red cabbage
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Roast potatoes
  • Bread sauce
  • Parsnips
  • Pigs in blankets

Get a little bit crafty

You might be surprised at the Christmas items that you're buying every year that could be just as easily made. You could pick up some specialty packing paper and turn it into custom Christmas wrapping paper quite easily with the help of some ink and stamps. Gathering up some of your crafting supplies and building home ornaments can also really help your home look much more festive. Picking up some dollar store LED lights for example could really help your home feel much more festive and inspire a variety of decor in crafting ideas that could help you transform your space on the cheap.



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Check out community events

If you are looking for fun events to do with the family or with your children over the holidays, you might be surprised to know the number of holiday adventures that you could have within your own community. Community events are usually a great way that you can get involved with a big pot luck dinner, seeing Santa for free or even watch a local park get all lit up with Christmas lights. These are beautiful experiences for you and your family and they are also an excellent way that you can bond together without having to spend an extensive amount of money. So many parents end up going to local malls or even amusement parks and spending an absolute fortune to build memories with their kids. There are many wholesome activities that you can do with your family even if you are on a budget, it may just take a little bit of research and planning to join in with these local community groups. Making a list of some of these free activities to do over the Christmas season will make sure that you have plenty of options if you are getting together with family or if you would like to spend some fun evenings out with your kids.


Christmas dinner with all the trimmings

Other top tips

The great tips, tricks and hacks just keep on coming. Consider this lot:

One of the biggest problems that comes from people on your gift list is the idea of overspending. Rather than trying to outspend each other and exceed your budget you should consider setting a limit, doing a secret Santa with many people on your gift list or even suggesting a year where only the children will get gifts rather than all of the adults. Speaking with the people closest to you about the value of the season and having a more sensible budget without resorting to payday loans over the holiday season may actually surprise you. It's likely that other people are feeling the holiday push alongside you and they may welcome the idea of giving up the tradition of everyone getting each other gifts over the idea of spending during the holidays. Sometimes a little bit of communicating will help to make sure that no one is overstressed or angry over the holidays.

Through the holiday season it's also important to check on the energy efficiency of your home. With so many people coming into your home and the holidays being one of the coldest parts of the season for some parts of the world, prepare early on and make sure that you don't get hit with a large heating bill over the winter. Start by blocking out drafts within your home, watching for condensation, getting furnace for fireplace maintenance and ensuring that you can set the thermostat to a cooler and more comfortable level. Pushing the limits of your furnace or regularly running your home very warm through the holiday season will lead to some huge energy bills in the new year which can be difficult if you are already running into holiday credit card debt. Consider the idea of using some blankets, having so your family members put on some cozy socks and using some sweaters over the holidays to save on energy.

If you are still spending time doing most of your shopping for the holiday season off-line, you really need to consider the idea of using online shopping and really hunting out deals using some of the tools available online. There are many ways that you can work to save money on holiday shopping such as bargain hunting on some special shopping days like cyber Monday, checking out some online coupon codes and more.

There are many retailers that will allow you to sign up for newsletter subscriptions that will deliver sales alerts and coupon codes through the holiday. By having a special shopping e-mail that you use for these offers, you can make sure that you are getting all of the latest updates from some of your favorite stores to shop at online. Having all of these coupon codes available could help you to save an extensive amount of money over the holiday and make sure that you can comparison shop to pay considerably less than you would at retail prices.

There is nothing wrong with the idea of giving gifts that are slightly used and refurbished. You could easily pick up a piece of furniture at a thrift store and refinish it beautifully for someone as a Christmas gift. These are items that are very much appreciated and not something that you can get at every store.

Online auction sites and online classified sites are also a great way that you can find beautiful used gifts that you can refurbish or even repurpose for people on your gift list. It's truly amazing what you can find for people over the holidays with a bit of searching through online classified directories. You might be able to get the latest phone with a small blemish on the back at a fraction of the price or even a designer coat that someone may want in last years fashion that's very lightly worn.

Conclusion

Consider some of these top strategies and more if you are focused on saving money over the holidays this year. Remember that there are always great ways to save so that you can have a more stress-free holiday season.

Let us in on your top xmas saving tips. Planning ahead and taking the time to think about your outgoings over the festive period will pay dividends when it comes to budgeting. There are loads more tips on this site.

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