Unless you’re a grinch, almost everyone loves Christmas! We doubt any pandemic will be able to change that, but buying Christmas presents this year is bound to be stressful, especially when the economy has taken a hit.
Here’s what we recommend: List your gift ideas! Christmas time is one of the most lucrative time for businesses, and everyone is going to compete for your cash. Make a list of things you want or hope to buy. Prioritise your list from most wanted to least interesting. The most wanted item on your list should be something your loved one has been desiring for some time now, but has not been able to purchase. By listing your gift ideas, you will be able to limit your spending to one item that is completely useful for your loved one. So useful in fact that you will save them from having to buy it later.
Gift Educational Items! You were going to buy them next year so why not do so now? Instead of toys, consider gifting your child educational items instead. They would have needed it in any case and you also teach them the value of a gift – it is the thought that counts.
A gift for the family! You might have gifted each individual person in the household a gift each in the past year, but this year life is tougher. Consider getting a gift that the entire household can use and limit that strain on your budget. This can include board games or a basket with mixed goodies for all.
Check for discounts! While discounts are rare closer to Christmas day, they are not completely unrealistic. Shops are usually getting rid of their old stocks to replace with the new. If you are on a budget, consider bargain hunting in town or online. You can also do the old family trick and wait for after Christmas to discount-shop for other adults.
Make it yourself! Not only is the sentimental value greater, but homemade gifts is a great way to maximise your giving without increasing your budget! Just don’t wait too long before you get started and end up having to make a last minute run to the shops! Ideas can include baked goods such as Buche de Noel or rum fruit cake, crafts, paintings etc.
Consider rearranging your budget! While great fun and festive, the end of the year tends to be one of the tightest financially for many of us. So if your budget’s starting to feel the strain, switch things up. If you normally spend quite a few on takeaways and eating out, make some sacrifices and bring your own lunch and cut down on the amount of times you go to restaurants, only until you’ve saved enough for your shopping list.
Prioritise! It seems like every time it comes to making a list of people you need to buy presents for, your brain keeps reminding you of every. single. person. you know. But let’s face it, you don’t need to, nor can you afford to buy presents for EVERYONE! And because the same holds true for other people, we’re sure your primary school teacher, or your local butcher will understand. You can always send a cute Christmas card to ease the sting, though!
Finally, track your spending! A budget doesn’t help if you don’t stick to it! You have to track your spending, and stick to what you have already planned! This will remove the anxiety of “Can I really afford to buy this?” or “Can I really afford to go there?” The last thing you need during the most wonderful time of the year is more stress!