There’s no escaping it – we are in a full blown recession and the cost of living crisis has hit us with a vengeance. The impact will be felt particularly as we head towards Christmas, and many households struggle to have even a semblance of a festive season while they are struggling to pay the everyday bills.
To give you a helping hand, we have put together our top tips for making sure you have the best possible Christmas with your family without breaking the bank and plunging your household finances deep into the red.
- Keep everyone in the loop
Be upfront with all the family about keeping Christmas gifts to a minimum, so that they are not expecting great big presents. Young kids especially who are too young to know the value of money might not understand the concept of rising prices yet, and this is a great opportunity to be really creative about what you can do together.
In fact, giving everyone a strict budget can be part of the fun, allowing everyone a degree of creative freedom to think more deeply about suitable gifts on a shoestring.
- Plan and shop for your meals carefully
Consider in the past how much food you have bought and thrown away over the Christmas period. We tend to get into a panic that there is not going to be enough food for everyone, and with the shops closed we end up ‘stocking up’. In reality we overstock and end up throwing good food away.
Ultimately, your Christmas dinner is a roast dinner with a few trimmings. It’s often the trimmings that push the costs up. Cut back on the trimmings, decorate the table with greenery from the garden, or the local park, be creative, and take away the stress element.
- Get personal with printing
A great way to be more personal on a budget is to get individual photos printed up into posters or booklets – particularly as we so rarely see photos in print these days, as they are always on our phones. Instead, contact quick turnaround printing services who can produce posters, mugs, key rings and all sorts of other personalised items that can be both fun and memorable.
- Keep warm in Christmas jumpers
Make sure everyone is wearing their Christmas jumper throughout the day. With so many in the room, all in jumpers, you’ll generate enough warmth to keep the heating on low and save yourself some pennies!
- Assign dishes to your guests
If you are hosting, then make sure the full burden doesn’t fall on your shoulders. Instead, allocate different elements of the meal to other people who will be sitting around your Christmas table. That way the burden is shared.
- Start well in advance
Spreading the cost will make all the difference to your pocket. If you leave everything to the last minute chances are you will panic an end up spending double what you would normally spend. The earlier you start and squirrel presents and food away in a hard to reach place, the less you will have to spend nearer the day, and ultimately the less stressed, and the more relaxed you will be. You might even enjoy the day.
- Recycle and Upcycle
Make a pledge not to buy anything ‘new’, but to instead either recycle or upcycle from charity shops, antique markets, car boot sales, and even your own attic. Not only will it save you a lot of money, but it is also much more environmentally friendly.