The Christmas season does not have to be a money stressor. Spending time with our friends and families and creating wonderful memories are what will follow us through our years; not what toy you received at Christmas when you were ten years old. Consider exchanging material things for memories.
- Look for local community events that are often a fraction of the price or free.
- Enjoy family entertainment activities such as tree decorating or a wintery walk followed by a hot chocolate.
- Christmas treats like a visit to Santa are magical for children.
- Cut the cost of decorations and cards: relatives are often genuinely touched by a bit of homemade sparkle. So gather together your craft supplies or get handy with the potato printing. It really is the thought and your time that counts.
- Don’t underestimate the value of a homemade gift – if you’re a keen cook or know how to knit, put your skills to good use.
A tip for Christmas dinner is to stock up on non-perishables like canned and frozen goods a little at a time prior to the week of Christmas – you’ll spread the cost over a period of weeks or even months, and avoid the high expense during December. To create a Christmas budget, you’ll need to:
- List spending categories such as gifts, wrapping paper, Christmas cards, holiday meals, and post-Christmas sales.
- Set spending limit on each category.
- Track ongoing expenses. Keep track of your spending after each purchase to help keep you within your budget.
To set a gift budget and to keep track of the gifts, you can use a gift list, gift idea planner, wrap/mail checklist, gift inventory list, or gifts to make list, accessible at the following link. Enjoy the Christmas feeling of warmth and family.