Budgeting & Banking

How to do Christmas on a budget

Gifts, decorations, nights out… it's all part of the festive fun, but the costs can fair add up. Here's our top tips for doing Christmas on a budget!_DSC0595We love Christmas as much as the next person, but the one thing that can put a dampener on our yule tide spirit is thinking about the major dent it puts in our bank balance.

Not to worry! With a festive sprinkling of budgeting advice and an added dash of creativity, you'll be able to have the Christmas you always dreamed of, without the bank balance of your nightmares.

Top Christmas saving tips

  1. Make a festive budget

    christmas-budgetIt might be painful, but take a good look at your bank balance to work out how much cash you have to play with.

    Use our budgeting guide to help work out how much cash you have going spare once you take into consideration your usual expenses and base your Christmas plans on that.

    If you're in need of some extra money to make your festive plans materialise, then why not consider cutting back on a few luxuries, taking on a few additional hours at work or try making a few quid online?

Don't forget – a budget is for life, not just for Christmas! Check out our various guides on saving money and budgeting for more info.
  1. Don’t be afraid to prioritise

    listWe all want turkey with all the trimmings, a first class degree and the latest games console for Christmas too – but sadly, the overdraft just won't stretch far enough.

    You're never going to be able to fulfill absolutely everything that features in your ideal festive fantasy, so grab yourself a pen and paper and start thinking about what's really important to you this year.

    It's a sad fact of life that you won't be able to buy a present for everyone you know, or be able to afford to go to every Christmas night out you've been invited to, but once you've worked out exactly what you want from Christmas, you can start thinking about how to make it work.

  2. Don't get sucked in by 'deals'

    cowWith festive happiness arriving in shedloads to shops everywhere, it can be tempting to get sucked in by "special offers" and "amazing deals" you actually have no use for whatsoever.

    It might look like retailers are spreading the Christmas cheer, but the sad truth is that they're trying to pull more money out of your piggy bank.

    That's not to say there aren't some banging deals out there; you can check out some legit money savers over in our deals section.

  3. Suggest Secret Santa

    secret-santaHaving to fork out cash to buy gifts for family, friends, colleagues, classmates… the list can fair add up (as can the costs!).

    The key to ensuring you retain the festive spirit but aren't launching yourselves into serious Christmas debt is to suggest doing Secret Santa instead.

    Agree amongst each friend/family group who wants to get involved, throw your names into a hat and decide on a budget. This way, everyone gets a nice gift and no one is left bankrupt!

  4. Go DIY!

    cards2From making your own jewellery to a carefully selected mixtape, there are tonnes of thoughtful present ideas that won't cost a penny (or check out these ideas that cost less than a fiver to put together).

    Even if you're not blessed with a creative flair, there's nothing to stop you whipping up some simple creations in the kitchen.

    You can kill a lot of birds with one stone by baking a huge tray of delicious [insert tasty treat here] and giving them to everyone on your list. If you're stuck for ideas, why not try our chocolate truffle recipe?

    And while we're on the subject of food, don't forget our Christmas dinner recipe too, where you can feast like kings for less than £3 each!

So there you have it, our top five tips for Christmas on a budget. We hope you have a truly awesome time this merry season, and that your bank balance survives intact!

As always, if you spot a stunner of a tip that we've missed then do give us a shout in the comments!

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