It can be difficult to save money and conserve funds over Christmas. There are presents to buy, cards to write, decorations to find, and dinners to make. However, you can have an affordable and enjoyable Christmas if you are willing to plan ahead when it comes to gifts.
Leaving your shopping until the last few weeks before Christmas can significantly drain your bank account. If you spread out your Christmas shopping, the money you use will not make as large an impact on your daily life (as you will be spending a little every now and again instead of relatively large amounts within a few days). No matter what time of year it is, you should investigate any shop advertising a sale. In most cases, you will be able to find at least one affordable item that will make a great Christmas gift.
Online shopping can lead to saving money in some interesting ways. Firstly, you can find sites that specialise in listing discount codes and sale information for a huge range of online shops. If you visit one of these sites every few days, you could end up saving a lot of money by taking advantage of amazing deals that you may not otherwise have been able to afford. Secondly, if you subscribe to the mailing lists of shops that you particularly like, you will sometimes receive emails with more exclusive discount codes that can be used at online stores. Once again, if you keep Christmas in mind all year round then these online shopping strategies can end up saving you a substantial amount of money.
If you really want to save money at Christmas, one of the best tactics is to wait until just after Christmas to buy appropriate things for the following year. Shortly after Christmas day, shops start trying to get rid of cards, wrapping paper and decorations by reducing them to shockingly low prices. Although it may remove some of the fun of Christmas shopping, planning ahead by buying these sale items can make a huge different to your bank balance come Christmas the following year.
An interim solution such as a payday loan alternative could help if cash flow is proving difficult. This is not advised as a long term option but can be very practical in case of over-spending and used smartly to avoid excess overdraft fees or to help with unexpected bills.
Even though buying Christmas gifts and associated paraphernalia as early as possible is one of the best ways to make sure you stay within your budget during the festive season, some people dislike this strategy. For many, a vital part of getting into the Christmas spirit involves shopping while surrounded by Christmas decorations and listening to Christmas carols. If you feel this way, there is another way that you can save some money by planning ahead. Specifically, you can choose to put aside a set amount of money each month, and keep it somewhere that will prevent it from being considered spendable outside of the Christmas period. This should encourage you to spend less on shopping and other activities throughout the year, and will make sure that when December comes you will not be in the position of having no money to spend on Christmas gifts.
Sometimes, Christmas shopping can lead to accidental overspending. When you finally sit down to wrap your presents, you might realise that you have more than you really need. In order to prevent this and save money, keep an orderly Christmas shopping list that clearly indicates how many things (and what sort of things) you want to buy for every important person in your life. This list will also help you to save money by keeping you keenly aware of whether your gift ideas are unrealistic. You are less likely to make impulse purchases or select extravagant gifts that you can’t really afford if you have already written a balanced list that takes both generosity and frugality into consideration.