Christmas is fast approaching people! Yes, granted, it is only August, but it will creep up you before you know it. If you’re feeling the pinch this year, then now is the time to start some research on how you can, not only make a saving but also learn valuable thrifty skills, that can be applied every Christmas.
Spread the Cost
Christmas is literally a billion pound industry, so it will be no shock to say, it’s an expensive doings. However a good starting point, is joining some kind of Christmas club. These clubs create accounts for you, in which you can deposit cash, however big or small the amount, up to about November time every year. Once you reach November, you can then use your saved money to buy, food, gifts and hampers and they will all be at your door in time for Christmas. This is a great way to budget. Be wary though, in recent years, these types of companies have been susceptible to bankruptcy and liquidation.
There are many great hamper companies around, these companies combine Christmas foods, drinks and decorations. Invest in these hampers not only as gifts, but as ways to keep costs down. It can be far cheaper to buy these products together, than buy them all individually. However be wary of this option, as some hampers can be very expensive and sometimes making your own hampers for others will be better.
Now, not an entirely ethical suggestion. However we’ve all got some very nice items, knocking around the house that we received a few years ago, that we’ve never found a use for. So what’s the harm in giving your Grandma the tea set, you got three years ago, that’s still in the box? She’ll find more of a use for it than you will.
Save Wrapping Paper & Bags
When you receive Birthday, Valentines or Anniversary presents, do you save the bags and wrapping paper? No? Well you should. The bags and paper, are very much an undervalued cost. So instead of tearing into your Birthday present, think long term, providing it doesn’t have, ‘Happy Birthday’ splattered all over it, you can iron it and re-use it. Same applies for any present giving occasion in the year.
Why not make some of your decorations? (Carefully) Pick some holly or pick a few branches from a conifer tree, both of which stay green, all year round. And be creative in your craft, this could be a great activity for the kids to help out with too.
Be Smart With Big Purchases
Being realistic, there are always going to be one or two big purchases you will have to make every year. If you need to make these purchases, and you have the money to do so, use a credit card. You will most likely be able to make a little cash, with money back on big purchases and activating any perks you might have, and it also provides you with an extra level of protection. As mentioned in point one, many Christmas specific companies, have a tendency to go belly-up, just at the wrong times. So when making big purchases on things like hampers and presents, then buying on credit cards means that the credit card company, may be liable for some of, or even all the costs of the products you purchased and never received.