As enjoyable as Christmas itself is, the lead-up to it can be a stressful experience. There’ll be quite a few preparations to take care of, as well as more than a few people to see. Then there are the gifts to buy and much more. It can end up being quite expensive for everyone involved.
Nobody wants it to be like that, and it doesn’t have to be. You’ll need to know how to make Christmas more affordable, which doesn’t have to be as complicated as you could think. Instead, it can be relatively easy, and you don’t need to be a Scrooge to do this.
Instead, seven particular strategies can help you with this. Not only will the holiday be much less expensive, but you could end up enjoying yourself much more. There’s no reason not to take advantage of them.
How Much Does Christmas Cost?
Before diving into how you can make Christmas more affordable, it’s worth diving into how much the holidays actually costs. You’ll likely have a general idea about this, but you mightn’t be aware of how much you’ll end up spending. Since you’ll usually pay for things in bits and pieces, that’s understandable.
The average household spends an extra £740 over the course of the month, with this being spread across multiple areas. Gifts will naturally be the largest cost associated with presents, but you’ll end up spending more money on various other areas.
Spending on video and audio equipment is one of the more notable expenses associated with Christmas, as is an increase in energy costs. With the decorations you could have up, it’s easy to see why that’s the case.
Some of this is relatively offset by a reduction in home improvement costs, but it still leads to an overall rise in your expenses. With how high this will be, it’s natural to want to know how to make Christmas more affordable. You shouldn’t need to be a Scrooge to do this.
Instead, seven strategies can be helpful in reducing your Christmas expenses the right way.
How To Make Christmas More Affordable: 7 Top Strategies
1. Set A Budget
It’s easy to get caught up when you’re buying Christmas gifts. While you might consider the cost of specific gifts, you mightn’t think of all of these combined. It’s something you’ll need to consider to keep your costs low, however.
When you’re doing this, you’ll need to set a budget and stick to it. Before starting your Christmas shopping, put together a detailed budget outlining how much you have to spend and what you’ll spend it on.
Break this down into different categories, such as gifts and decorations. Put a maximum of what you’re comfortable spending, and make sure your categories don’t exceed this amount. While that takes some time and effort, it’ll save you a lot of money, especially when you stick to your budget.
2. Find Vouchers
As expensive as Christmas gifts are, you don’t always need to settle for full price. Vouchers can be an effective way to save a bit of money on gifts, and you can find more than a few of these online. NetVoucherCodes.co.uk can be a great place to look for these.
While you might only save a little bit per gift, it adds up to a lot if you have to buy presents for more than a few people. It’ll be more than worth the effort you put into finding the vouchers in the first place.
The savings more than outweigh the time you spend on it.
3. Buy Secondhand
Secondhand products mightn’t be the first things you think of when looking for Christmas gifts, but they offer the benefit of costing much less than their new counterparts. These can often cost less than half as much as something new, making them much more affordable.
That’s despite the fact they could look and function just as well as new products. By looking around secondhand shops, you can find more than a few gems to pick up. While you might need to freshen these up a little bit, they’ll still be a great option for products.
4. Play Present Roulette
When you need to buy presents for a lot of people, it ends up getting quite expensive. What if there was a way to cut down on the number of people you have to buy gifts for without feeling bad about it? By playing Secret Santa, you can do exactly that.
The process involves everyone taking a name out of a hat and only buying a present for that specific person. It drastically cuts down on the number of people you’ll be buying for, which gets rid of most of the cost.
You should leave children out of this process, as you should naturally make sure they get enough gifts from Santa. Instead, limit Secret Santa to adults and get as many of them involved as possible.
You can also do this for your workplace, and you could put a maximum on how much everyone can spend on the gift. While you’ll need to get everyone on board with this, it’ll save you a considerable amount of money.
5. Cut Down Food Costs
Christmas dinner can be one of the most expensive meals you’ll have during the year. That’s especially true if you’re having a lot of guests over. You’ll likely end up making quite a lot of food during the day, which means spending a lot of money on the ingredients.
Since these costs can be relatively high on the best of days, it’s easy to see why Christmas dinner can be expensive. You don’t need to settle for this, however, as there are more than a few ways to cut down on your Christmas-related food costs.
One of the more notable is to ask guests to bring a dish with them for a meal, which removes the need for you to buy and cook a particular dish. It’s also worth putting together a meal plan for the day itself.
Consider exactly who’s coming for dinner and base the meal accordingly. You wouldn’t need to cook a lot of food to feed everyone, as this often leads to waste. While leftovers can often be appetising, you wouldn’t want to throw out a lot of them after spending a lot of time and money on them.
While this takes some time, it’ll be a much more affordable meal than you’d expect.
6. Reduce Energy Use
Everyone knows Christmas is one of the most expensive times of the year. They’ll often only think about the gifts they need to buy when they’re thinking about this, but they’re far from the only Christmas-related cost you’ll have. You’ll also need to think about your energy bills.
It’s not uncommon for these to soar during the Christmas season. You’ll have quite a few decorations put up, many of which need electricity to function. The longer these are on, the higher your bills will end up being.
To counteract this, try to reduce your energy use as much as possible. You wouldn’t need your Christmas decorations on 24/7, for example, so why not turn them off during the day? It’ll minimise your energy costs much more than you’d think.
At a minimum, it’ll make sure your energy bills aren’t sky-high, which should take a bit of the financial pressure off. You could even ask any Christmas dinner guests to bring a dish with them, which cuts down on the costs associated with you cooking a lot of food.
7. Plan Ahead
Budgeting was mentioned above, which means spending a bit of time planning ahead. It’s far from the only thing you’ll need to focus on when you’re doing so. One of the main reasons people overspend during Christmas is that they leave things until the last minute.
That ends up leading them to buy things at the last minute, even if they’ll be expensive. It also adds a lot of stress and hassle to the process. By planning things out as early as you can, you can start picking things up early, avoiding the stress and expense associated with last-minute shopping.
There can be multiple sales throughout the year, with many brands you’ll end up buying from having them, too. By getting presents and even Christmas decorations during these sales, even if it’s two or three months early, you’ll save yourself a lot of money.
How To Make Christmas More Affordable: Wrapping Up
Figuring out how to make Christmas more affordable can be complicated. You could feel like you’re being a Scrooge just by thinking about it. That doesn’t have to be the case. Using a few specific strategies can be incredibly helpful, especially when they’re done right.
With how expensive Christmas can be, there’s no reason not to use a few strategies. Finding vouchers online, reducing your energy usage, considering second-hand clothes, and multiple other tips and tricks can all be recommended.
Not only will they make Christmas more affordable, but you should end up enjoying the holiday season much more. There’s no reason not to put the work in.