1. Set a Christmas budget
Just as you budget the rest of the year to manage your money, do the same at this time of year so you can spend less at Christmas. Choose whether you want to do it in Excel, a notebook, or an app, and write down every purchase you will need to make: decorations, gifts, food, etc. Once you have it, stick to the budget because, during the Christmas season, we tend to be very busy and do not pay as much attention to spending.
2. Divide the budget into envelopes
Once the budget is created, take out the cash and divide it into different envelopes, one for each item. That is, one envelope for gifts, another envelope for food, another for decoration, and so on for each of the purposes, you have established in the budget. Before making a purchase, ask yourself if it is necessary. If it is, make the purchase and keep the surplus in the envelope. Once you have spent the money for that purpose, you should not use any more money.
3. Keep an eye on the extra pay
We see the extra pay as additional money and tend to spend it more lightly. Beware of seeing it as money “leftover”. If you can, try to save some of that money. If you do not allocate all the money for the Christmas holidays, you will have a reserve for possible unforeseen health, household, vehicle, or any other incident that may occur.
4. Plan your purchases in advance
As the holidays approach, that’s when we start our shopping. For this reason, sometimes we tend to buy the first option we have in front of us, without thinking well if it is really what we want to buy and without comparing prices since we need it immediately because time is pressing. Preparing your shopping a month in advance makes it easier to take more time with it, and even to find great deals that can help you save on your total Christmas shopping.
5. Buy little by little
In addition to using point number 4, if we also stagger our purchases and, instead of spending money all at once, we buy an amount every month for three months, for example, it will allow us to save at Christmas. Besides being able to take advantage of the offers and promotions that are presented, you will not be in such a hurry during the months of December and January.
6. Moderate food purchases
Think about menus, portions, and what you need to prepare the dishes. Go shopping with a list of everything you need and try to stick to it. Also, moderate the purchase of extras such as nougat and polvorones because you tend to buy all the flavors and end up with leftovers. If at some point you run out, you can always go buy more. A large part of the food budget is also usually spent on appetizers. If you serve a lot of appetizers, you will arrive at the meal and desserts with hardly any appetite. If the appetizer is light, you can ensure that your guests will eat the following dishes, and in turn, you will be spending less.
The illusion of decorating our homes when Christmas comes with lights and decorations can make that, without even realizing it, we end up spending a lot of money. Try to make everything you buy reusable so you can use it for years to come. Another option is to handcraft or DIY (Do it yourself). It is a solution to spend less at Christmas and have fun while doing it if you like crafts. On the Internet, you can find many original references to decorate the different spaces of your home in the purest Christmas style.
8. Beware of ant cost
Sometimes we draw up the budget and we are very clear that we will not spend a large amount of money for a specific purpose. On the other hand, if we then happen to buy several things on which we spend a small amount of money, we will add those amounts together and they end up exceeding the budget as well. In the end, we will have spent more without having contemplated it. To spend less at Christmas, we will have to control those ant expenses because they can represent a high amount of money.
9. Do not get into debt
Prioritize paying with cash or a debit card. Try not to use your credit card or even go into debt for Christmas shopping. Try to think before buying what you need and if it is worth it because it is common to get carried away at this time of the year by impulse purchases that can seriously unbalance our economy.
10. Beware of energy
The holidays can significantly increase our bills, especially our electricity bills. Use appliances sensibly and leave them on only when you are using them. Another way to spend less at Christmas is to turn off decorative lights when we are no longer in the room or while we are sleeping.