Seven ways to cut costs during Christmas
Christmas is about family and loved ones. You don’t need to fall into the commercial side of things and decorate your whole house in Christmas decorations or make sure every one of your distant cousins receives enough presents. Save some money this Christmas and relieve some stress off your finances. You don’t need to spend a fortune to make Christmas special. You can make it special by being there for one another. Parents often find themselves under pressure during Christmas time, having to shop for everyone, having to buy and prep the meals and also having to make sure everyone has a great day. Christmas can lose its spark for some when they feel the squeeze on their finances.
This financial pressure is why we are suggesting you cut some of the costs this Christmas, and make this year’s one, a stress-free lead up into 2019. We have listed a few ways below that we believe can help cut some of those extra costs this year. Have a read and see if you can implement these ideas into your Christmas regime.
Choose Cheaper Traditions
Christmas is mostly ruled over by holiday traditions from around the world. Germany started Christmas trees and Christmas decorations, Japan indulges in KFC (we aren’t kidding), and Sweden plays a country-sized game of, ‘burn the 13-metre-tall Gävle Goat statue.’ Everyone has their traditions, so you shouldn’t feel pressured to follow what you see on everyone else’s social media. Create your own unique traditions that don’t have a burden on your wallet. See neighbourhood lights, backyard cricket, watching a movie or baking a Christmas treat.
Potluck Christmas Lunch
Many New Zealanders already do this, but make Christmas lunch or dinner a potluck occasion with friends and family. If you are hosting for the day, take some of the stress off your back by asking friends to bring a plate too. Of course, you can offer to do the main, but try to get others to bring the desserts, salads, appetisers and the sides. Just make sure everyone knows what they are bringing, so that way you don’t end up with one turkey and five lots of Pavlova. You could always embrace Japanese tradition and get a barrel of KFC instead.
Send Cards Instead of Gifts
Who loves it when you are making a list of everyone you need to get presents for, and then your partner reminds you to add Aunty Sandra who lives up in Takapuna, that you’ve only met once, yeah, how delightful. Gift giving to distant relatives or friends isn’t fun when it stretches your budget. Save some money this year and send them a personalised card. The generic box of chocolates and biscuits isn’t needed.
Try Secret Santa for the family
Secret Santa is a great way to save money when it comes to buying for your family or friends. Buying for one is a whole lot easier than buying for five, also if you set a reasonable spending limit, you can get something you know they will enjoy for a reasonable price. You might find you and your family prefer the one bigger gift each, over several smaller ones.
Focus on the celebration, not the gifts
People sometimes prefer presence over presents. Let someone know beforehand that they don’t need to get you anything and that you should come around for a beer instead. Catching up with friends and family is what makes Christmas special. You could arrange not to give presents or stick to giving gifts to the kids and not each other.
Make a list
Okay so if you are out shopping, make a list and check it twice. Remove the chance of impulse purchases by writing down what you are after before you begin. Tommy wants a toy robot, write it down. Angelica wants a dollhouse, write it down. Nora wants a new iPhone X, tell her maybe next year. Write down what you are getting people and stick to the list, the quicker you can get your shopping done, the less likely you will be to getting something you don’t need. Or to save yourself from the dangers of been convinced by a Christmas deal, shop online and do it early before the rush.
Wait until Boxing Day
Another Classic Kiwi trick that lots of us do is attack the Boxing Day sales! Just like what the Americans do with their Black Friday sales after Thanks Giving, you too can get great savings on all of the leftover goodies after Christmas day. If you don’t mind waiting until after the big day, you can spoil yourself with gifts at a fraction of the price if you had purchased it a couple of weeks earlier. You could even request friends or family who are getting you presents to give you cash or vouchers so that you can spend it the next day. We are sure they won’t mind, saves them the trouble of having to find you something.
So there you have it, those are some easy ways that we recommend, that could cut some costs this Christmas. The holidays can be a stressful time for us if we spend most of it worrying about our finances. Relieve yourself from as much pressure as you can and find ways to save funds this Christmas. If you believe the holiday period is bearing too much of an impact on your finances than you would like, you can always consult us for financial assistance.