Christmas can easily become an expensive time of year. From gifts to entertaining to decorating, the money spent on the celebration adds up quickly. Yet, there's no reason to completely break the bank. There is a way to celebrate well and spend wisely at the same time.
Make a holiday spending plan
: Decide how much you can comfortably spend on gifts this year. Make a list of all the people to whom you would like to give gifts. After completing your list, create a budget by writing down how much you would like to spend on each person. Be sure to include the costs of decorations, wrapping, and cards in your spending plan.
Shop for gifts year round
: Whenever you're out shopping, keep an eye out for great Christmas presents. It doesn't matter when you get the gift, whether it's January, March or June. Shopping early can prevent you from getting into the holiday rush and overspending in a panic. Plus, if you spend little amounts here and there throughout the year, Christmas will have a much smaller impact on your wallet in December.
Scale down the entertainment
: Sometimes the smaller, more intimate parties mean the most. Instead of planning a Christmas blow-out, host a quiet dinner party. Gather the people together who mean the most to you. It won't just save you money, but it will make for a more meaningful holiday.
Create sentimental gifts
: Keep in mind that some of the most appreciated gifts are not those that cost the most money, but are the most meaningful. Handmade gifts, such as calendars, photo albums, and framed children’s artwork can provide a lifetime of smiles. And never underestimate the power of a sentimental letter, song, or poem for that special person on your list. These heartfelt gifts are often the perfect choice.
Earn extra income
: You still have time to earn extra income to finance your holiday purchases. Many retailers need seasonal help to accommodate holiday shoppers. Taking a part-time job on the weekends will let you earn enough cash to avoid financing your purchases with credit cards.
Keep the change
: Save the leftover change from your everyday purchases. Over time, your piggy bank could grow enough to finance your holiday shopping.
Retailers often send monthly e-mails advertising special sales or promotions to their shoppers that are not available to the general public. Take advantage of these special offers, but read the fine print in case terms or conditions apply to your purchases.
Source: The Weekend Globe