Thursday, December 1, 2011

5 Budget Friendly Tips for Christmas


Today I have the lovely Kylie Ofiu guest posting about 5 budget friendly tips to help you out for Christmas. As this is often a very expensive time of year for many of us, I really appreciate that she has taken the time to put this list together to help us out. Here are her tips:

Christmas is often a time of extreme financial stress for many. The cost of Christmas can be in the thousands and not everyone gets paid for the time off over the holidays. It doesn’t have to be this way though. This year I decided to spend only $100 for Christmas. It might sound crazy, but it has taken a lot of the stress out of Christmas. We have been making gifts and feel so much more relaxed.

I realise $100 is not realistic for everyone, but there are some ways you can save money at Christmas, spread the cost over the few months until Christmas and reduce the stress as well.

Make a plan
Christmas comes at the same time every year and can be planned for. With your Christmas plan write out everyone you need to buy for, what you want to give them, a menu for the day and then budget and plan accordingly. If you will be going away or unable to earn an income during this time, budget that in too. Knowing all of this can help you spread the cost of Christmas out over the whole year.

Look out for bargains throughout the year
There are giant sales throughout the year for everything from toys, to electrical goods to Manchester. If you know what you want to buy those on your list, you can save a lot during the sales.

Shop in post-Christmas sales
In the past few years the post-Christmas sales have not been as dramatic as previous years, but there are still many specials to be had on wrapping paper, cards and decorations. I have paid as little as 1cent for some items.

Make gifts
You don’t need to be crafty or good in the kitchen to make gifts. If you can throw some spices together in jars you can make some great BBQ rubs, or if you can thread beads onto wire you can make pretty necklaces. These are often cheaper than buying things and you can present them in a really nice way.

Christmas Clubs
Some stores do Christmas clubs where you can deposit $10 a week to put towards shopping for Christmas. Another alternative is a separate high interest savings account where you put the money you budget for Christmas each week and earn interest on it as well.

These tips should help you with your Christmas planning, making the holiday period easier and cheaper!

What are your budget Christmas tips?


Kylie Ofiu is the author of 365 Ways To Make Money. She blogs about real ways to make and save money at her blog www.kylieofiu.com and Mozo - a savings comparison site.