This Christmas, you don’t need to spend a lot just to feel its essence. You can find ways to cut expenses and make the most out of it.
During the holidays, you won’t mind spending a lot. After all, it only comes once a year. Once the Christmas spirit is in the air, you will find yourself rushing to the mall and buying gifts for the people you love. You might also start writing the food that you wish to eat once your relatives come over.
Once everything is over, you might find yourself in a deep financial trouble, deeper than what you have already been. You don’t want to let this happen year after year. This season might just come once a year, but you are forced to suffer the consequences for the rest of the year.
Thus, if you wish to change things this year, then it would be best if you try to be more conscious of your spending. Here are some tips on how you can still enjoy the holidays without hurting your pocket.
- List the people who really need to receive gifts from you. This is another way of saying; just prioritize the kids and not the adults. They will still understand why you can’t give them anything this Christmas anyway. If you can’t help it, then set a ceiling price. Even if you know they wanted to receive something this Christmas if you know it is beyond what you can’t afford, then don’t push for it. However, since Christmas is for kids, then let them have what they deserve.
- Don’t overthink what you are to serve for Christmas Eve dinner. You might end up cooing a lot of dishes and most of them will go to waste. Aside from not cooking everything you can think of, confirm ahead of time the people who are coming. While there is nothing wrong to invite the entire family over and have at least 20 people celebrating Christmas with you, it would be a total waste if only 5 or 10 will come just because you forgot to confirm their arrival. Also, try not to give in to everybody’s request for Christmas dinner.
- Try to switch malls or supermarkets. If you are used to places that sell expensive items, then let go of them. It won’t do you any good. Drive around your local area. You might be surprised to see that there are a lot of other stores that offer the same high quality products at a much lower price. In fact, you might even see the same brands but a lot cheaper. You might have gotten yourself used to the same place over the years. Thus, it is time for you to experiment on cheaper places and save more money.
- Make the most out of vouchers and promotions. Collect vouchers or coupons online or through local stores. This will help you a lot if your goal is to save. Sometimes, if you are really wise, the vouchers alone might be enough to pay for your entire groceries. You should also start walking around and take note of stores that will do a holiday sale. Remember the dates and be there as soon as they open.
- Think about how Christmas is a time for sharing love and not really of material wealth. Don’t get caught up in the idea of gift giving. If you can just share your time with family and friends, then it will be good enough. You might also want to use the time to do reunions or visits to people whom you have not spent moments with for a long time now. Sitting down with an old friend at your porch won’t be as expensive as dining out with a huge number of people while exchanging gifts.
Rest assured, if you follow these tips, you won’t lose the essence of Christmas. You will even appreciate Christmas more if you try to shake things around. You will realize that Christmas is not just about the items you can give or the dishes you can serve. The best part is when the Christmas season is over and you realize that you have not emptied your bank account and you can welcome the New Year ahead with enough money and no debts. This is the wisest way to celebrate the season of giving.
Featured and 1st image by Pavel Ševela [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
2nd image by Divided Families Foundation (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons