Are you feeling it? That financial pressure, stress and stretch that comes with the Christmas season.
Having to squeeze that pressie for Aunty Mabel and that bottle of wine for the Christmas party into your already overextended budget.
Add the additional cost of holidaying and by the end of December your bank balance or credit card statement makes the Christmas Cheer go “ho-ho-ho” down the chimney.
And you are left wondering – “why do I do this to myself every year?”
Christmas is the time of giving – it should fill you up, not leave you broke.
This year, with careful fore planning and a little initiative you can indeed obtain the so desired cost effect this Christmas.
Here are some tips:
Make this a “home-made gift Christmas”.
Let all your family know that everyone has to create a home-made gift for each other.
Not only is this fun, it also really gets the family into the spirit of Christmas and true giving rather than buying to give.
Instead of buying 4 or 5 presents for your close family, make a rule that you each buy each other one present or set a budget amongst yourselves for presents.
Shop online – there are many great deals available online that are way cheaper than the store and most offer free delivery.
Online Discount websites like Groupon offer products and experiences at 50 to 60% off.
Instead of buying each member of your extended family a gift, buy the whole family a gift for them to experience – eg. A family pass to the Aquarium or a family portrait.
Those memories together are a beautiful present.
Personalise Presents. Buy a beautiful photograph in a frame, or a personalised calendar or a personalised key ring. Your friends and family will love things made specifically for them.
Get creative with your gift-wrapping– things can be put in jars, newspaper, pieces of fabric and the bits around the house that you no longer use.
Ask the people coming to Christmas lunch to each bring a dish of something to eat, rather than you having to fork out for the full meal.
Set a budget for Christmas for presents and the festivities so that you know what you have to spend, rather than overspending.
It is the personal connection and not the gifts that creates a warm Christmas. Connect with the wonderful people around you; share stories, laugh and most of all have fun.