Christmas comes earlier every year, right? Wrong! Despite the fact Christmas has happened on the 25th of December for the last few centuries, people still seem to panic and struggle to plan their finances to accommodate for the festive season ahead.
While money is not required to make a truly magical Christmas, the holiday still puts a strain on the purse strings of a budgeter. Without adequate financial planning you may feel that your Christmas doesn’t quite live up to your imagination.
Don’t panic, as the festive season hasn’t arrived just yet. There is still plenty of time to create a wonderful day without breaking your budget. Many people feel pressured to spend all they have over the Christmas period, yet we must remember that Christmas is only one day, don’t let it dictate the rest of your year.
Should we plan ahead?
People have been suggesting you should plan ahead the whole year, but you can find some amazing bargains on last-minute websites too.
Sometimes it pays to wait a little longer and grab a bargain, for example you could find some massively-discounted products on many websites during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If you are visiting family and friends after Christmas Day you could even wait until the January sales have released their bargains and buy your gifts from those. Present them with a light-hearted IOU note letting the recipient know that their gift is on its way, Santa just got temporarily caught in traffic!
Buy your Christmas meal ingredients from a budget store
People are often snobby when it comes to Christmas food shopping as they associate Christmas with having fine-quality ingredients. However, you would be surprised at the quality of some of the budget stores nowadays, with many surpassing mainstream chains in blind taste tests.
If you cannot be persuaded on the price, why not ask everyone to help out with the meal by putting $5 in each and collaborating your efforts to buy really nice ingredients? Consider making your food from scratch as well, instead of splashing out on store-bought alternatives, for instance cranberry sauce costs next to nothing to make but can be sold for over $6 in stores due to the fancy packaging.
Focus on people, not presents
As mentioned before, Christmas shouldn’t be about commercial customs, it’s about spending quality time with loved ones and being appreciative for what you already have.
Keep it simple and don’t blow your budget for one day out of the whole year.