How to have a wonderful Christmas on a budget.

Christmas is a wonderful time of year but for many families it will put a mighty strain on their finances 

Christmas is a wonderful time of year but for many families it will put a mighty strain on their finances while you struggle to make it a day to remember for your kids.
There are some things you can do to help you along and with these tips you should be able to have a wonderful Christmas without burning out your credit card and getting into debt.
  • Set a budget and stick to it- Before you start write down the gifts you need to get, a budget for each of your children, food and miscellaneous products you will also need. If your budget is bulging and there is no way you can adhere to it, look at other options like listed below.
  • Start saving early- It seems fairly obvious but it really helps saving a few bob each week from September even, though it may be too late this year, consider doing it from next year.
  • Prioritise presents- Obviously your own kids are the priority and Santa must leave them with what they want at least as much as possible. The rest can be cut down (if needs be) and rather than buying your partner an expensive gift and they  doing so for you, consider waiting till the sales and buying something you both would love.
  • Talk to other family members and consider secret Santa- If you have lots of extended family have a very frank discussion and look at options to get a gift for nieces and nephews. Secret Santa is a great idea for all the kids and that means only buying a couple of gifts and not loads for all the kiddies but yet they all get something. Forget about gifts for sisters, brothers and their partners and admit that Christmas is predominately for children and it is too much pressure buying for all the family as much as you would love to be able to.
  • Keep an eye on the sales- If there are a few things you know are on your nippers Santa list, you could keep an eye out and take advantage of any promotions. It may only be a small saving but it all adds up and you could get another gift for your niece or nephew from the discounted deal.
  • Make some homemade and thoughtful gifts- Gifts don’t all have to be shop bought and if you are anyway handy with baking or art consider doing up some homemade gifts. Things like homemade fudge, truffles and jams are a lovely gift and they are cost effective as you can do loads of batches and dress them up beautifully in little boxes or jars.
  • Get everyone to chip on for the Christmas meal- If you are hosting the dinner rather than take on all the grocery shopping duties ask everyone to get something and to prepare it at home. For example someone could buy the ham and cook it at home, the same goes for desserts and starters. It shouldn’t be up to one family to shoulder the burden of the price of food as it is expensive and why should you put your family under pressure to provide for others?
  • Store stuff properly for next year- Storing items like decorations and trees away will mean next year they are in mint condition and you won’t have to buy more stuff.
  • A few footnotes- Place any spare cash / change in a jar over the month of December to cover heating, water and electricity charges as when the bills roll in come January you will be grateful of having some money ready to pay them off. Don’t go wild on the food and menu plan so nothing goes to waste, freeze what you can and eat leftovers. Finally remember that Christmas is for family and having everyone together is a blessing not how much you spend on the day itself.

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