I am guilty for buying crap I don’t need. I know this, I work on this. I am a sucker for a sale but this year I have been very restrained and cut down on those impulse purchases and needless junk from the sales just because it’s a “bargain”. I’ve stuck to only buying things I need!
This year, the company I work for decided to stop the corporate spending on cards to clients that rarely get looked at and instead donated the same value to a local Food Bank. With well over 150 items provided, we swapped spending for helping.
Christmas is a wonderful part of the year and should be all about family and everyone enjoying themselves. Yet there are all sorts of stresses, from travelling around to visit friends and family to the financial burden it can place on people. Research has revealed that we’ll spend an average of almost £54,000 each on Christmas over the course of our lives. However, rather than becoming consumed by this, avoid frivolous spending while enjoying the festive spirit thanks to the following ideas.
Organise a Secret Santa
Buying presents will take up a large proportion of your festive budget but also seems like an unavoidable expense. If you’ve got a tight-knit family and/or group of friends, then try and organise a secret Santa instead of traditional gifting. Rather than feeling like you need to take out a loan to afford presents for everyone, set a maximum limit. This means everyone still gets a present or two and that the same has been spent, making budgeting easier.
Gift Time or Help
Alternatively, if you can’t work out the logistics of organising a secret Santa, consider presents other than physical items and products. For example, if you work a trade then it could be something as simple as helping out with a house project, building a cabinet or similar. This can save the receiving party a lot of money compared to paying for a professional to complete the task, so it will still be greatly appreciated.
Volunteer at Christmas
Christmas is a time of giving, and what better way to celebrate this than donating some of your time to those in need? Not only will you be doing a good thing, but it can avoid you overspending a lot on food, drinks and other frivolities over the festive months. It could be volunteering at a local food bank, orphanage, elderly retirement home or animal shelter. Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean all these places shut down for a few weeks, and in many cases, they can be busier than ever.
Arrange a Collaborative Meal
Don’t think that you’re alone worrying about finances at Christmas, as a lot of people think they spend too much. If everyone’s in the same boat, then arranging a collaborative meal could be a good solution. This way, everyone brings along one dish of their own, only having to pay for what goes into it and travel to wherever it’s being held. It saves on food waste and creates a far more cost-effective Christmas dinner for all. Just make sure people bring different dishes!
Although there are alternate funding options available if you’re looking to pay for a show-stopping Christmas, there’s no reason why Christmas should cost the earth. By taking these steps, you can help make your Christmas a financially sound one, so you start the New Year in a great place.