Now it’s officially autumn I feel like it’s time to start talking about Christmas! I know a lot of people find Christmas stressful but I honestly never feel like that. I always get organised in autumn, set my budget, start buying gifts and plan my festive calendar. It really helps me save money and have a stress-free Christmas. Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing my top Tightwad Tips on how to save money on everything festive – from kids toys to toiletries and even family days out.
If you’re looking to save money and have a stress-free Christmas, here are a few ways to get started:
The cost of presents, food, Christmas parties and days out can soon add up. But, getting organised is the best way to save money and have a stress-free Christmas.
Start by writing a Christmas gift list. Write down all the people you WANT to buy presents for – please don’t feel obliged to spend money on anyone and everyone! Next start thinking of ideas for things you’d like to get them. Starting now means you can look out for bargains and sales, and you can spread the cost over a couple of months rather than having a big spend in December.
I also start thinking about all the things we want to do together as a family and planning Christmas nights out with friends. Booking tickets for events now is a good way to save money. Every year we take Ollie to see Father Christmas, the closer it gets to Christmas, the more expensive the tickets are. The earlier, cheaper dates always sell out fast so being organised is definitely a bonus.
Set A Budget
If you’re worried about the cost of Christmas, setting a budget is a good way to go. Make sure exactly how much you have available to spend and then tailor your plans and gifts around it. You could also suggest to friends and family that you don’t buy each other gifts this year. You could also do Secret Santa with a small budget or even agree to each give a small amount to charity rather than buying each other gifts.
Out With The Old, In With The New
The run up to Christmas is a great time to declutter. I know Christmas will see an influx of new toys and clothes from friends and family. So I’ll spend the next week clearing out the kid’s unused toys and clothes that don’t fit them any more. Anything that is good quality will be put on eBay, Facebook or Gumtree in the next few weeks to sell. I’m going to save any money I make to spend on their Christmas presents this year!
Make Some Extra Cash
If you’re worried about the cost of Christmas, maybe it’s time to think about making a bit of extra cash. There are tons of ways you can make a bit extra on the side. From Matched Betting to surveys, snapping your shopping receipts to selling your unwanted stuff.
I use cashback apps and shopping receipt apps every time I shop. From now until December I’ll be saving all my points up to cash out just before Christmas.
Another great app I recently discovered is the Job Spotter app. All you need to do is look for job vacancy signs in shop windows while you’re out and about. Take a photo of the sign and the shop front in the app and earn points for each one. They only pay out in Amazon vouchers so I’m saving them all up for Black Friday!
Plan Your Diary
As I said earlier, getting organised is the best way to take the stress out of Christmas. October is a great time to organise your diary for December as many people are starting to think about Christmas. If you book them in now, you know when you’re going out and can budget and save for them in advance.
If you’re on a budget don’t feel the pressure to go on all the nights out you’re invited too. It can be tempting to say yes to every invitation – especially if you’re home with the kids a lot and need some adult conversation! But just think…is it really worth blowing your budget for? If you do want to go out but you’re on a budget, think about how you could save. Could you wear something you already own or find a bargain on eBay? Could you suggest you go somewhere with good deals? If you normally drink alcohol could you drive to save money on drinks and a taxi?
Over the next few weeks I’m going to be going in to more detail on how I save money and reduce the stress of Christmas. I’d love to know if you have any tips of your own or even if there’s anything you’d like me to cover so let me know!