Whether by a lot or a little, the truth is that more than 60 percent of those surveyed will increase their budget this festive season compared to the previous year. Do you really need to spend a lot to have a better time? The truth is that no, you don’t. Although it may sound like a cliché, the key to enjoying Christmas is not money.
You can have a brilliant time on a low budget, and you can even make savings at Christmas. The three keys to achieve this are conscious consumption, moderation and keeping to your budget.
- Avoid the consumerism typical of this time of year. Wouldn’t you rather have one good gift instead of five small ones? How much does a traditional Christmas dinner mean to you? These are two examples of how to apply the concept of conscious spending on these dates. If you’re still not sure, here you can see what conscious consumption entails.
- Practice moderation. Christmas is the quintessential time for excess. When it comes to food, drinks and spending, you can enjoy them just as much without going overboard. A good way to do this is by adhering to the third part of these tips.
- Be clear about your budget. Do you want to limit your Christmas spending? Start by setting a budget for what you want to spend. To optimize it, think about the total amount first and then adjust the items to that spending ceiling and not the other way around. In other words, don’t think about how much gifts, meals, or lottery tickets are going to cost, but adjust them to your budget. Do it the other way around and dive into the adventure of balancing the accounts.
Eight tips for a five-star Christmas without going over budget
Now you know the rules for avoiding over-consumption at Christmas, it’s time to put them into practice. Having a brilliant low-cost Christmas is definitely doable. These tips and tricks will help you do just that.
- Ask for what you need. Apply the concept of conscious consumption and think about what you want to buy and what, in addition, you need. That can be your Christmas present. What if there are children? Try limiting the number of gifts they can ask for to three. This way you will be teaching them to set priorities and understand the difference between need and desire.
- Take advantage of discounts when shopping. Black Friday week is full of offers where you can buy more for less. In terms of toys, large stores have sales campaigns that you can also take advantage of.
- Compare prices. To avoid getting overwhelmed by the barrage of special offers or falling for typical trading tricks, use price tracking tools such as CamelCamelCamel or Idealo.
- Buy ahead whenever possible. If you see an item you want at a good price, don’t hesitate to buy it.
- In-family gifts and Secret Santa. Try to make a gift for the whole family, such as a family experience, a trip to see a musical, etc. And by the same token, when it comes to gifts for adults, wouldn’t you prefer one good gift to four small gifts? Secret Santa lets you pool budgets and make better gifts.
- Challenge yourself to buying gifts with a certain price limit. What if there’s nothing you need but you want to keep the tradition of giving gifts? You can give a different touch to this festive period with gifts on a limited budget. Some of the best gifts arise when you have to use your imagination rather than your credit card.
- DIY decoration. Turn Christmas decorating into a family activity. Instead of shopping, make your own craft ornaments. If there are children at home, this is a great option for a family activity, and you’ll cherish these decorations for a lifetime.
- Try alternative menus. To what extent do you insist on traditional Christmas fare? Would it bother you to save certain foods for later? The best way to save on meals is to avoid buying the same things as everyone else, which is when food usually goes up in price. If you like suckling lamb, you can eat it at Christmas and pay 29 percent more, or you can wait for another date and enjoy it just as much for far less money.
All these tips will help you get more for less, but if you really want to save on Christmas, the key lies in reining in your budget and making a slight change in your mindset. If you can rid yourself of the idea that there are certain things you have to do by tradition, you will be well on the way to really enjoying this festive season.