Saving money during these tough times is never easy. It seems as though advertisers are screaming for you to buy this, or try to convince you that the newest gadget is one you simply cannot live without. This is especially true during Christmas. In past years, perhaps you have vowed to become committed to save money during this time of year. Despite your best intentions, you never seem to be able to stay within your budget and end up out of pocket, with little to show for it. Here are 7 tips to help you save money during the Christmas Holidays.
1. Buy throughout the year. Sometimes advertisers offer weekly discounts on sales of anything from makeup to candy. As your budget allows, buy a couple extra discount books, chocolate bars, decorative mugs or whatever you think friends or family may enjoy receiving. Then put them away for safe keeping until Christmas giving time.
2. If you can’t afford buying extra items for gifts or stocking stuffers throughout the year, consider stocking up on basic craft items such as hot glue sticks, stickers, construction paper, colourful tissue paper, beads, buttons, pipe cleaners and other items which can help in making holiday cards and gift items.
3. Frequent second hand stores or boot sales for unusual woven baskets. These make great containers in which to give gifts. You can dress them up with a simple ribbon or even spray paint them for a designer look.
4. Host a BYOAAM (bring your own appetizer and music) get together. Ask your guests to bring a favorite appetizer and a treasured cd. If alcohol is to be served, try to have other alternatives such as flavoured coffees, tea or a time honoured favorite-water.
5. Rather than buying gifts for everyone on your list, why not have everyone draw a name? Each person would then be responsible for purchasing a gift for just the one person whose name was drawn. It could save you hundreds of pounds and loads of guilt.
6. Seek out a vintage store to purchase your next party frock. Depending on your taste, vintage styles are cyclical. There are some classic cuts which never go out of fashion. A visit to a vintage boutique just might save you enough to afford to put away a few pence.
7. Many people like the idea of traveling out of country for a ski holiday or other special way to celebrate the season. If your budget won’t allow such fancy, why not stay a little closer to home? Explore all the Bed and Breakfast inns within a two hour train ride from your local station. For under £150, you can stay at a modest inn for a long weekend, complete with room service, perhaps a garden to stroll through or even have an opportunity to explore a unique local attraction.
Whatever you may choose to do this holiday season, a bit of creative planning can save you loads of debt and maybe even start a new tradition.