How To Do Christmas On a Budget
Christmas is a wonderful time of year, but it can also be a very expensive one. With the costs of gifts, decorations and food, this time of year can easily become overwhelming for many of us. That’s why Crawford, Smith and Swallow have put together some helpful tips on how you can avoid breaking the bank this holiday season.
Don’t go overboard with decorating
Decorations may be a great way to add value to your home, but they can also be one of the biggest budget busters.
Don’t waste money on decorations that aren’t reused from year-to-year; instead, keep things simple and rely on what you already own or if you must find some at a local second-hand shop.
Set a budget and stick to it
Christmas spending often turns south when we fail to align our budget with our shopping list.
Before you begin shopping, determine how much money you’re willing to spend on Christmas this year. Then make a list of all your expected holiday expenditures, including presents, travel, and decorations, and assign a dollar amount to each of them. Once you’ve set your budget, make sure you stick with it.
Use those reward points
Throughout the year you’ve probably racked up a considerable number of points through rewards programs like Triangle Points, Air Miles, and PC Optimum. Why not redeem those points for this year’s holiday gifts?
Many retailers will also offer additional discounts to members on top of holiday sales. Keep an eye out for emails and text messages with coupons and exclusive deals.
Reuse and Recycle
Although the beautiful wreath at your local home sense may look like it’s worth the splurge, it’s probably not. Chances are you already have plenty of decorations lying around the house.
This holiday season, resist the urge of spending money on new decorations that you don’t need. Not only is reusing decorations from previous years good for your wallet, but it’s also great for the environment.
Think twice before you charge it
Before you charge anything to your card, consider this, credit card interest is high. Unless you’re paying off your balance every month and only using credit as a last resort, using your card is just going to leave you swamped with debt.
Affordable gift ideas that won’t leave you riddled with debt
To help get you started with your holiday shopping, here are some affordable gift ideas.
- Homemade gifts: from homemade jams, pies and bread to jewellery and homemade gift baskets, these items made with love make excellent gifts for everyone on your wish list.
- Make a scrapbook: collect family photos from the past year, some stickers, an assortment of patterned paper and get creative!
- A good book: find a book that suits your loved one’s interests and your budget.
- Gift cards: you can’t go wrong with a gift card. Your loved one can buy whatever they desire, and you get to decide exactly how much you want to spend.
- Notebooks or day planners: you can never have too many notebooks. And since we’re approaching a new year, a new day planner is also not a bad idea.
Celebrate the holidays without spending a fortune
A Christmas where you stay within your budget doesn’t have to be dreary. You can still make it enjoyable for you and your family. It ultimately comes down to prioritizing the things that matter most and ensuring that they are within reach financially.
If you or someone you know is currently struggling financially, don’t hesitate to contact one of our Licensed Insolvency Trustees.
Crawford Smith & Swallow understands how overwhelming debt can be. Allow us to help you regain control of your personal finances. Our licensed professionals will work with you to find the best debt relief programs, or debt solutions, such as bankruptcy, tailored to your needs.
Contact us today for more information on how our team of Licensed Insolvency Trustees can help.