How to Have a Holly Jolly Low-Cost Christmas

Christmas can be a very expensive time but who says it should be? Shop savvy with these tips and celebrate the holidays with more money in your pocket than last Christmas! 

Decorations

  • For price vs usability I recommend sticking to: Asda, Wilko’s, B+M, Home Bargains and Poundland.
  • You’ll be able to find everything you need from these places! There’s no need to overspend for the holiday season
  • The best time to buy your presents for next year is January – grab all the deals for a reduced price and box them up for next year.
  • If you have kids, arrange an art project to get some free and memorable streamers, banners and tree decorations.

Presents

  • Make a list of who you have to buy for
  • Set them a budget (and stick to it!)
  • Agree with some people to not buy presents – there are always some friends that could also use the pennies this Christmas
  • For everyone else, agree a budget ‘Hey, let’s not go crazy this year. Presents under £25 sound good to you?”
  • Make the most of any loyalty cards you’d had racking up throughout the year.
  • Do all your christmas shopping 2 pay days before Christmas – this free’s up the final pay before Christmas so you’re not panicking.
  • Doing your shopping early also means you can shop around for the best prices on those presents you want.
  • If people ask you what you want there’s no shame in saying cash. If you’re uncomfortable asking for money, ask for a gift card that you can use towards a cost you would have spent anyway. You can always say you’re trying to make the house more minimal and don’t want clutter.

Dinner

  • If you’re going out for works Christmas dinner or out with the family, be part of arranging it to ensure that your budget it met. There’s no shame in telling your boss your budget – it beats paying more than you bargained for or getting to the bill and realising you can’t afford it.
  • Budget how much food you’ll need and don’t overdo it. Your guests don’t need a 4 course meal, a dessert and a cheeseboard.

New Outfit

  • Find something from the back of your wardrobe that you haven’t worn to wear out.
  • If you do want something new, visit your local charity shops. These can be hit and miss but I’m confident you’ll find something to suit your needs.

Merry Music

  • If you’re hosting a Christmas party or Christmas dinner this year consider shopping the charity shops in December for some cheap CDs.
  • Same goes for vinyls if you have a record player
  • I personally consider Spotify worth the cost. It’s £9.99 per month but I’ve never not-found anything and all music is at the touch of a button. You can use at all year around too!

Drinks

  • Add a bottle of wine here and there to your shops leading up to Christmas to spread the cost
  • You could host a party – I find that most people bring a bottle and leave it leading to the larder being fuller than it was pre-party!
  • Shop the Christmas deals in the supermarkets – never buy direct from a specialist like the Whisky Shop or a wine merchant – you’ll pay through the nose and, let’s be honest, it tastes the same!

Other

  • Book any travel as soon as possible to avoid the travel spikes for trains or planes
  • A 0%-on-purchases credit card is a useful tool for those who want to spread the cost of Christmas over a longer period.
  • Or even a 5% cutback credit card! Though obviously if you’re venturing into credit cards, pay it off otherwise you’ll incur more costs that it’s worth.
  • If you’re planning to do much of your shopping online, consider signing up for a trial of Amazon Prime.
  • No need to go crazy on wrapping paper. Wilko’s or B+M will do a few rolls for a low price.
  • To get some more money ready for Christmas, sell (or sneakily regift) any unwanted Christmas presents from 2016)

 

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