The countdown to the holidays is on and we all know what that means: family, fun and unfortunately, financial worries. But it doesn’t have to be a stressful Christmas this year. With a little ingenuity and planning you can even host Christmas with minimal impact on your wallet. Sounds great, right?
We’ve asked around the office, spoken to our accountants, some couponers, and a handful of clever mums to put together some of the best ideas to make hosting Christmas less costly and more fun for everyone.
So without further ado, here are our 7 Ways to save money this Christmas;
Make a Christmas budget
Have a think about how much Christmas typically costs and if you can afford it. If you’re not sure, develop a Christmas budget that will help you stay on track throughout the entire planning process. Make sure to frequently refer back to your budget and make necessary adjustments as you go, always keeping the total in mind.
Start right now. Get out a pen and paper and make a list of all the things you’re going to need to host Christmas this year. Once you’ve got your list, start to slowly buy a couple of items each week leading up to the big day. By doing so over time this won’t make a big difference to your Christmas budget but it will help to minimise the cost of your big shop right before the party.
Pot-luck it up
It may not sound like your traditional Christmas Ham or BBQ, but if you’re trying to save money, simply hosting Christmas is more than enough. To keep it traditional, assign everyone a dish from your typical Christmas dinner. If you’d like to make things more interesting, ask your friends and family to each bring a dish that reminds them of Christmas. You may be surprised by the wide variety of dishes on the table (try to liaise with everyone so you don’t just have seven bowls of mashed potato).
Get creative with gift giving
Sure the kids may all want the latest doll or Star Wars toy that just hit the market, and that’s okay, but perhaps the adults can forgo their individual gifts and put the money towards an esky full of wine (you may need it) or encourage a rousing game of Pass the Parcel amongst the kids. Additionally, Secret Santa is always a great game to save money and make the holidays exciting. We also have another article on budget gift giving.
Adjust your entertainment
Instead of spending the entire holiday eating, drinking and opening presents (not that there’s anything wrong with that), think outside of the box a little. Encourage the kids to put on a talent show where they can get creative, use their new toys as props and hopefully have a little interactive fun. Have a Christmas Night campfire, where you can kick back, relax and enjoy your company. Play a game of rugby. Get everyone together doing something so you can stop worrying about how much this is costing and start enjoying yourself.
Stop spending money on throwaways
This is a big one. Each year families spend tons of money on paper plates, plastic cups and throwaway tablecloths to minimise clean up at the end of the day. Instead of doing that, schedule breaks throughout the event to quickly clean up so you can save money and help the environment. Plus, if you clean as you go, the mess won’t be so overwhelming at the end of the day. It’s a win-win!
If it’s too stressful and costly to host Christmas at your house, get everyone together, pack a picnic and head to the beach for the day. Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean you have to sit around the Christmas tree: palm trees will do just fine.
These Christmas ideas will help you save money, stick to budget and ensure you have a great holiday.
Do you know someone who is already starting to stress out over the holidays? Share this article with them!