I cannot believe it is that time of year again... Christmas! This year more and more of us are looking to save money wherever we can, and Christmas is no exception. During the distant times of an economic boom our spending at Christmas increased. Some people told me in the past they spent $1000 on each child, hundreds on food and even more money on New Year's Eve! Our budgets have been cut, our consumer confidence is low, but our kids and our own personal expectations for Christmas remain high. When one is somewhat broke, this can be a problem!
At this time of year, we want to break the budget and enjoy ourselves while make our homes sparkly and spicy. I would like to show you how to create your perfect Christmas without breaking the budget...I have been using these techniques and saving money through out the year -- not just at Christmas. I own an event planning company and over the years I have developed many ways to save money when planning events. I want to show you how to adapt these ideas to plan yourself great Christmas on a budget.
Your Christmas budget -- set your budget and STICK TO IT. In the past I have gotten caught up in the spirit of Christmas and ended up doing my Christmas shopping twice!!... Once in the shops and then online. I now do everything online so I am not tempted. This is my personal choice as it is easier and suits my lifestyle. Many people like the atmosphere of the stores at Christmas. I, personally, can live without that!
We mostly can't get away from it at Christmas time, as we need decorations and at the very least, a tree. You want your house to look perfect and all those little finishing touches cost money. Before you know it, you have spent $100's. The obvious answer to saving a bit of cash is to make your own decorations (if you are so talented). This is a great activity to carry out with your kids, also. I did this with my kids last year and we all really enjoyed it. The house did not have the perfect ideal home look, but it was full of Christmas spirit!
By sending Christmas cards, we all like to tell our friends and family we are thinking of them during the festive season. The number of cards I send each years seems to increase and the cost also. Again the obvious solution is to make your own.
Another idea is to recycle last year's cards. Use the front of the cards and send them as postcards. This does not help with the cost of postage, so to cut this out I would suggest ecards. On some sites cards are free, but the selection can be quite limited. There are other sites where you pay a small fee and can then choose from a far larger selection. You can save a tone of money on Christmas cards by doing this.
We all like to indulge in our favorite food and drink at Christmas and the Christmas shopping can be the most expensive food shopping you do all year. I hope I have showed you how you are able to cut the cost without putting back your favourite chocolates! Plan your Christmas menu and all the little treats you like at this time of year. Look at your menu, analyze it and see how much value you put in each item.
This may seem like a strange statement to make, but many people are tempted to upgrade their brand during the holidays. What I am suggesting is look at where you feel your menu lacks value and downgrade your brand. For example, rather than simply buying nothing but the finest, see where you could buy a bit cheaper without taking anything away from your Christmas experience. People chuck out $100's of dollars on food each year, especially at Christmas. Focus on spending a bit less, and don't feel bad about trying to cut a few corners!
For more advice and some really useful links please go to http://www.ahappybudgetchristmas.co.uk
Heather mulholland is not the owner of, nor is in any way affiliated with this website.