Let’s be honest; Christmas is an expensive event. No matter how much we look forward to 25th December, we know we got to be financially ready to meet our ends on this special occasion. From buying gifts for our friends, family, and acquaintance to preparing a lavish feast, stay on our Christmas planning list. It does sound like that making a purchase for gifts and groceries will cost us an arm and leg, but in reality, if we only tread carefully, we can have a win-win condition. If you are reading this blog, it means you are googling your way around finding some secrets on money-saving this Christmas, which is quite understandable. Post-COVID, we are all facing a financial crunch in our budgets, so spending wisely on everything for the occasion is the ultimate solution.
Let's find out in this blog what are the top ten rudimentary ways to save extra bucks from your Christmas budget.
1- Plan Your List in advance
I know a lot of people already make their lists months before the D-day, but if you are still lurking for the right time, then do it now. Make a list of people whom you want to buy Christmas presents. Include all the things in your planning list that you deem important. Once you compile your list, crosscheck it with your mom, sister, brother, partner, or anyone from your family. It will help you declutter the superfluous items when you’ll navigate through the list with someone else. This way, you’ll be left with the gift ideas, people, and décor items that make the must-have for you.
2- Stick to Your List and Budget
Now that you have a list, all you have to do is 'stick with it'. It's too common to feel tempted and fall victim to retail marketing, and that's why you must have to strictly follow your list. Think about the budget you have. Keep a track of the money you’ll spend on Christmas shopping. Note down every penny either on a notebook or an app, or punch the amount on Excel's spreadsheet. This way, you'll know you are only spending money on things you have jotted down in a list.
3- Buy ‘Family Gifts’
An extended family or social group? A tricky situation, but definitely not insuperable. Often, a situation like this demands a smart solution. If you have a lot of people in your family, then instead of going solo, buy family gifts. A pleasantly wrapped gift for a family will do the trick, and you wouldn't have to go outside your budget. You can purchase a box of chocolates, a tin of biscuits and candies, a checkboard or monopoly game, or even better, buy a piece of fitness equipment that will stay long. Speaking of which, you can check the Xn8 Sports website for amazing Christmas deals on fitness and combat equipment.
4- Plan Meal Budget
A family feast is central to the Christmas celebration, therefore, people spend a large sum of money on it. While buying groceries, it is imperative to know, specifically, what food items you need. Again, plan for the dishes or cooked meal that you want on the dinner table at Christmas. If you are getting, "get one buy one free or on half-price", then only make a purchase if you think this food item has to be on the table. Make a grocery list, and stay away from buying everything labelled ‘on half price’ because you’ll end up buying more than you need. See, that’s why planning everything upfront before the occasion is imperative to cut the cost.
5- Avoid Instalment Offers
Stay away from buying products that offer you a payment on instalment option. It is just because you’ll find yourself stuck in paying the interest rates along with the original receipts. Sometimes, retailers do offer their products on an instalment basis with an interest-free period limit, but if you have no plan in place to pay the amount within an interest-free period, then don’t fall for the temptation.
6- Do Bulk Shopping
Rather than buying a bunch of items from multiple online stores, it will be wise if you can find gifts, groceries, or décor items from a single place. For instance, you saw a cute tank top for your friend, and you think she will love it, then instead of only buying a single item, look for things that you can also buy from there. This will also cut off the delivery charges, which make up an additional cost for you to pay.
7- Use Unused Gift Cards
It’s time to take out the unused or half-used gift cards that have been hiding in your purse for over a year now. Think about the money left on these cards, which you can now use to shop for Christmas gifts. These gift cards might have belonged to an outlet or shop from where you hardly like to buy anything. Think of them as a discount offer and purchase something that is loved by your friend or family. Or you can regift it to someone else, which is not a bad idea, as people may think.
8- Signup Early
Don’t regret later that if only you could have signed up for the newsletters early for all those extra discounts for the subscribers. Every one of us has favourite outlets or things in mind from where we can buy and save at the same time. Don't wait for Christmas, and subscribe to the company’s newsletters to stay updated when the sale will go live and how much you can save extra for being a subscriber. Xn8 Sports has amazing deals to offer to their customers, and if you are a fitness freak, you certainly wouldn’t want to miss them.
9- Go Cold Turkey
COVID pandemic has financially hit the majority of the people pretty bad, and for this reason, it's okay if you can't spend on gifts or feast. The celebration does not necessarily mean that money has to be spent. In fact, Christmas is a day for a family get-together and meetups. If you have no financial assets this year, then go cold turkey. Spend time with your family, break bread together, watch a movie, or play a game with each other. Remember, happiness can't be achieved only through money. Look for far bigger things in life- happiness, contentment, and family.
10- Cut off Random Gifts
Last but not least – cut off the budget for the random gifts. Stay in your comfort zone this year to get through the day unencumbered. You don't need to spend a stash of money to buy for each and every one. Avoid, if you can, the gift exchanges at your workplace, book club, or fitness centre. Put an end to these societal pressures and live freely.