It seems like the Christmas rush starts earlier and earlier each year, but this year especially there’s a good reason for it. Globally, we’ve experienced one of the most difficult years financially- a recession combined with huge rates of inflation. While much of our daily lives have returned to normal post-pandemic, covid factors still play into this in a big way, along with Brexit, the war between Russia and Ukraine and many other factors.
It’s created the perfect storm financially, which has led to many households now being much more strapped for cash than they’ve experienced previously. While Christmas might not be a priority to many because of this, lots of us still do want to celebrate the festive season. It’s a chance to spend time with our families, have fun, enjoy our traditions and make memories.
While these holidays are heavily commercialized, when it comes down to it you can really make it as expensive or inexpensive as you like- there are lots of ways you can do things on a budget to keep costs down. Here are some ideas for going about it!
Making lists and staying organized is one of the best ways to stay organized financially and have a more frugal Christmas. From lists of gifts you plan on buying to decorations, food and more. That way you can work your way through everything and there’s no risk of buying things twice or wasting money on impulse purchases. You can work out rough prices of everything and it enables you to budget better, and you prioritize the most important things and buy those first.
Shop second hand
Instead of heading to the shops and buying everything brand new, have you considered buying second hand? Charity shops and Facebook marketplace can be fantastic for this. From Christmas decorations to kids toys and more, chances are there are lots of things you can get off your lists for a fraction of what you’d spend in a shop.
While a second hand gift might not feel suitable for everyone you plan on buying for, if you have young children who won’t know the difference, it’s one way you can save a huge chunk at Christmas. Other expensive items like technology such as phones, tablets and laptops purchased second hand might be good options for teens.
As long as they’re in good condition and you give them a clean up, it can enable you to get them the tech they want rather than forfeiting the gift altogether. Things like faux Christmas trees and decorations are often listed on selling sites.
If you usually buy a real tree, getting a cheap fake one that can be used on years that are more difficult financially can save you money. And ensures you still always have a Christmas tree to put up. There are lots of fun crafts you can do to make your own decorations too- from salt dough ornaments to paper chains and more, have a browse of Pinterest.
Sell what you don’t use
Getting rid of things you don’t use before Christmas is always worthwhile. You make space for new items and keep your clutter down. You can make some extra cash, and it gives other people the opportunity to cheaply purchase items they can use for their own budget Christmas.
Not to mention it’s better for the environment rather than things simply going to landfill. Have a look around your house, you can sell everything from old jewelry to technology you no longer use. Browse your attic, you could sell old vinyl records, antiques or pieces of furniture.
Anything you earn from selling items can be put away ready to be spent on things for Christmas. This is why having lists are useful, you can pick off items from your list and purchase them whenever you get a chunk of money.
Starting early enables you to spread the cost of Christmas. You could buy one or two long life items each week when you go grocery shopping and put them away. Things like chocolate, biscuits, crackers and alcohol are all ideas. You could browse sales, Black Friday is coming up and is a great opportunity to purchase Christmas presents. Starting early means you can buy things when they’re a good price, rather than waiting until the last minute and having to overspend.
Christmas can be whatever you make it, you could even decide to forgo presents this year and host a ‘potluck’ style dinner where everyone brings a dish. If you do want to purchase items then the above tips will help you go about it in an affordable way.
KT is a digital nomad who quit her job, bought a ticket somewhere, got a tan, fell in love with mother nature and she would never return to the normal life that society dictates. You can also connect with her on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @pinaynomad