It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, isn’t it? Everywhere you go there are sparkling trees in the window starting to emerge, festive jingles are playing, and it’s damn near impossible to switch on the TV without yet ANOTHER heart-warming Christmas advert coming on without warning – and it’s only mid-November. The fact is; the festive season is wonderful. It’s the perfect chance to reconnect with people, spend time with loved ones and to eat to our hearts’ content – the problem is, however, that isn’t the whole of it. Christmas time is renowned for its mounting pressure on society, both emotionally and financially. There is so much pressure to have the perfect Christmas, that many of us end up overspending, and ultimately ending up stressed about money. If you’re feeling a little perplexed about splashing the cash this year, then here are some top tips that could help you to save money this Christmas.
We know, the solution to just about everything seems to be “go online” nowadays. Want to know where I bought my car? Online. Wondering where I sold my house fast? Online. How is everything in my life suddenly that bit cheaper and quicker? Online.
It might sound like an exaggeration, but it’s really not. All of the above statements about doing things online are one hundred percent possible, so why not try doing some Christmas shopping online this year? You’d be surprised at how much of the stress it can relieve, and the money it saves.
The problem with doing your shopping in the shops – other than the slow workers and rude co-shoppers – is that it’s so easy to buy more than you need. Remember that the people who conduct the marketing and layouts in shops are experts in consumerism. This means they know exactly what to say, do and offer to get you to buy more than you need – that’s literally their job.
If you shop online, and know what you’re looking for, then chances are you’re going to buy that and just that – whereas literal shopping makes you more likely to pick up excess gifts and accessories for the festive season. All of these little bits add up, and before you know it, you’re massively over budget. Plus did you know that some of the best bargains available are online? That’s right – on the internet you get deals you could only dream of in the shop. Be smart, and do the shopping from the comfort of your sofa, for less money, with a brandy in hand. What’s more festive than that?
Take a Leaf Out of Santa’s Book
There’s a reason Santa makes a list – and checks it twice! – every year. Because it’s a helpful organisation tool, at a time of year when organisation is an absolute must.
Now, we know there’s no Santa Claus – which means we are effectively all Santa Claus. Sure, we might not deliver presents to the entire world on the back of a sleigh in as little as twenty four hours, but we do buy presents, decorate the house, prepare the food and serve it accordingly. If you make a list of what you need, then you won’t buy unnecessarily. It’s a pricy job, but tick things off as you go, and you can’t go wrong.
If You’re Travelling, Book in Advance
Not all of us host Christmas, and in fact, not all of us live close to our families. If you don’t have a license, you won’t be driving home for Christmas, and you’ll have to rely on the wonder that is public transportation.
If you are travelling via train, bus or plane – book at LEAST eight weeks in advance. Generally speaking the earlier you book, the cheaper the fares are, and that especially counts at Christmas. Christmas is, without a doubt, the most expensive time to travel – so be organised, and keep your money for more important things. Like mulled wine.
Suggest a Secret Santa
Finally, if you’re worried about spending a lot on gifts – why not suggest doing a secret Santa amongst friends and family this year?
The great thing about the age old tradition of Secret Santa, is each person only has one other person to buy for – and there’s always a price limit. This makes it much cheaper than buying for everyone individually, but also ensures that nobody misses out. Think of the fun you’ll have and the money you’ll save. That’s what we call, a double result.