Real talk: Christmas gets expensive. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, getting caught up with presents, cards and parties, but a few simple tricks can help you make it to January with money left over and a big, Christmassy smile on your face.
Figure out your budget
Be realistic. How much money can you actually afford to spend? Remember that after Christmas comes New Year (and all the sales!) so do you really want to be spending ALL of your money in one go? (Probably not!) Look at what you’ve got and leave some to the side when you’re adding up your total.
Make a list
No, not just a list of presents you want other people to buy you.
Once you’ve figured out how much you have to spend, make a list of the people you need to buy presents for. Decide how much you want to spend on each person, and make sure the total adds up at the end! If you’re earning money, try a money map to see how much of your working time you’re spending on each person!
Buying presents is fun, but nothing says ‘you’re kind of a big deal to me’ like making something. From baking their favourite brownies, or wrapping up the ingredients in nice jars, to personalising a plain notebook and writing them a nice note (or a funny memory) something from the heart beats splashing the cash every time.
Make it a group thing
If you’re in a large group of friends, Christmas can get pretty expensive. Why not suggest something like Secret Santa? It’s almost guaranteed that other people in the group will be watching the pennies too, so you’ll be a real Christmas hero. Set a budget, put names in a hat and then you can all focus on getting the one REALLY amazing present!
Enjoy the free things
It can feel like there’s a lot of pressure to spend, spend, spend at Christmas, but the most important thing is to spend time with the people you love (and the people you just really, really like). Feeling confident that you’ve not overspent means you can look forward to the New Year without that worry, and concentrate on keeping your fingers crossed for a white Christmas.