Cutting down on holiday spending doesn’t have to mean cutting down on holiday fun.
Here are ways to plan a fun and affordable holiday:
1. Create a budget
A cheaper Christmas starts with a solid spending plan. Look over your finances, and decide how much you can afford to spend on Christmas. Then, divide this amount among your various Christmas expenses – gifts, food and decorations.
2. Make a gift list
Bring focus to your gift spending by creating a list of all the people you plan to shop for. Then, set a spending limit for each person, and jot down gift ideas before heading out to shop.
3. Trim down your gift list
Have more people on your gift list than you can afford to buy for? Then, it’s time to give that list a trim. Look over your current list, and decide whom you have to shop for and whom you don’t.
Remember: a shorter Christmas list is always better than adding debt and stress to your life.
4. Start early
Black Friday may be the official start to the Christmas shopping season, but it doesn’t have to be the start to yours. Start shopping for gifts as soon as you can afford to do so, and you’ll have more time to bargain shop and feel less pressure to buy at any price.
5. Shop smart
Giving a nice gift doesn’t have to mean spending a lot, so shop with your budget in mind:
6. Shop second-hand
There’s no rule that says gifts have to be bought new. Scour thrift stores, yard sales, flea markets and other second-hand sources for gift-worthy items at prices well below retail. Just a few possibilities: candles, antiques, jewellery and books.
Written by ANNIE NJANJA