The holidays are always a time when people spend slightly more money on the festivities. Whether it’s for holiday travel, family get-togethers, or parties, the end of the year comes with two major holidays. Christmas and New Year’s come with more eating, drinking, travelling, and meetups. But with increasing costs of living, inflation, retrenchment, and other financial struggles, budgets will be lower this Christmas. However, if you’re on a low budget, you don’t have to get a cheap holiday.
Spending less can sometimes mean that events will be more affordable but this doesn’t mean they have to look cheap. Feasts may be less lavish but they can still be as luxurious if you get crafty with bargaining.
How to have a great Christmas on a budget
1. Get creative with the Christmas decor
This isn’t mandatory in most homes but many families still love to decorate their homes for the holidays. Buying a new tree every year isn’t sustainable. Having a plastic tree that gets damaged may mean that you’re unable to replace it if you’re outside of your budget. You can make a Christmas tree of your own using some scraps. You can make a triangular wire rack using metal hangers or any malleable metal you have lying around. Wrap the frame with wrapping paper then add a stand like more wiring or a wooden block. You can then add wires across between the frames then hang handmade decorations, small toys, or other sentimental knickknacks.
You can also check e-commerce sites for second-hand plastic trees and other decoration items to save on costs. To plan for the following year, you can wait until after the holiday to buy items on clearance and then store them until the holidays.
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2. Meal budgeting
If you can’t afford the same lavish meals you’ve made before, try inviting fewer people. You can also let your loved ones know that you’re unable to make a great feast and would require chipping in from others. In addition, you can avoid buying more expensive frivolities like alcohol and have people bring their own bottles. A potluck is also a great way to save on costs but still meet with friends and family. You don’t have to dip into your savings to host a party or get together. With the power of community, you can host a memorable party that doesn’t require you to spend more than you can afford.
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3. Plan ahead
The best way to ensure you stick to a budget and not overspend is by planning. Do you plan to visit upcountry for the holidays? Count the number of people who will be travelling, and make your bookings before the holiday rush begins. Organise for alternate transport like borrowing a friend’s car if you can drive there. If you’re hosting a party, confirm the exact number of people who will be visiting to determine your budget for food and drink.
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4. Set limits
If you’re going on a trip with your family, ensure you set a limit for your budget. Spending on the road may be inevitable but ensure that your loved ones only spend in designated areas. You can also opt to stay in during the holidays and watch movies. Counting Down To Christmas? Here Is The List of Hallmark’s 2023 Romantic Christmas Movies That You Can Watch
In addition, you can reduce mailing costs by sending packages in bulk. Find affordable options to buy gifts for your loved ones. Go for second-hand shops that sell high-quality items. Thrifting is also a great way to get rarely used items. Perfect Accessories To Present To Your Wife As A Christmas Gift
5. Take advantage of sales
During holidays, many shops and banks give away bonuses and loyalty points. Utilise them during the season. If you already have loyalty cards in your favourite stores use them. Credit cards also give rewards to be claimed during holiday seasons. Supplement them to make any major purchases like transport tickets and still save money.
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