Sometimes the thought of Christmas can be something of a nightmare if you’re watching the pennies as from expensive presents to overpriced turkeys, everything just seems to get a little bit out of hand over the festive period.
For most of us these days, being careful with our money is something that we certainly have to take into consideration as part of our day to day lives however, as we all know, from December onwards life can be far from normal both at home and at work.
If you’re fearing festivities or wondering how you’re going to make ends meet during December then don’t despair, simply read on and discover how you can save money over Christmas.
Make a list
As with all money saving tips – preparation and planning are both the keys to success. Don’t stick your head in the sand and ignore your bank account just admit what you can afford to spend and then make a list that’s comparable to your regular financial incomings.
Pro tip: Writing down what you have and what you need is important as when you can see things in black and white they tend to make a lot more sense.
How to keep warm
Whacking the central heating on around November may seem like the only option for keeping warm however, with rising energy prices this is often a sure fire way of burning your hard earned funds. Layers are the key and if you can ensure your kids and yourself have on enough layers of clothing to keep warm then this won’t cost you a penny.
Pro tip: Make sure your windows and doors have been sealed correctly to avoid drafts as this is often how your house loses heat during the winter.
What to eat
The Christmas meal is always going to be something that has got money spending stamped all over it although, if you’ve got the willpower and the know how, this doesn’t need to be the case. Be strict with yourself and overload on veggies rather than expensive meat. Carrots, frozen peas, broccoli and potatoes are all fairly inexpensive to buy and pre-prepared nut roasts won’t cost you more than a couple of quid.
Pro tip: If you simply have to have turkey then only buy what you can afford and making the most of left-overs should give you at least a few more meals over the Christmas period.
Going out with work colleagues, friends and family over Christmas is often great fun and very tempting however, if you’re watching your money then a round of drinks or a meal will certainly set you back on the ropes.
Pro tip: If you can avoid alcohol by being the designated driver or act like Cinderella and go home before you spend too much, then this is the best advice for saving cash when you’re out and about this December.
Home made decorations
If you’ve got kids then making your own decorations is certainly the way to go and can keep them happy and occupied at least for an hour or so. Pine cones, paper chains and cut-outs are all great decorations that hardly cost a thing and if they’re well-made then you can get them out next year which will save you even more money.
Pro tip: Getting friends round to decorate your tree is another great idea and if you’re planning on partying then ask them all to bring a bottle and a decoration and watch your house or flat light up with life.
Get fit for February
If you’re worried about spending money on going out, Christmas Day lunch or all that excessive boozing then do something about it and have a bit of will-power. There’s no better way to say to yourself – no – than by wanting to get fit for February. If you can be strong and concentrate on losing weight or exercising then you’ll be more than happy to avoid expensive food and drink bills as you look forward to a fitter and healthier New Year.
Have a goal
Saving money is pretty much down to being strong within yourself and avoiding the temptations that appear to be all around us. If you can find a goal, such as planning for a holiday or saving up for something that you want to do next summer then the trappings of Christmas will quickly become no more than just a temporary obstacle in light of your future plans.
One of the best ways to save some cash over Christmas is to get outside into the country and burn off some energy. Packing a winter picnic helps you to avoid costly pub lunches and overpriced café drinks as from flasks of coffee or soup to home-made sandwiches, you don’t even need to take your wallet and purse out with you to enjoy a walk in the great outdoors.
Pro tip: Nature is free and will help you avoid the need for heating your house.
Visit a shelter
One of the best ways to save money over Christmas is to visit someone less fortunate than yourself and offer your services free of charge. Old folks’ homes, homeless shelters or local hospices would all love your company over what is generally a difficult time of year.
If you can forget about your own plight and take into consideration someone else who is worse off then you’ll soon see what the real spirit of Christmas is all about.