Welcome back Tracey Clayton to the TwinCitiesView! She has a helpful article today, just in time for the Holiday Season… Let’s give her a big thank you for helping us save money while still creating a magical Christmas! Thank you Tracey, THANK YOU! (high 5!)
Useful Tips for Creating a Magical Christmas on a Small Budget
Christmas is just around the corner, but you still have time to develop a good shopping plan. You don’t need expensive gifts to let your family know that you love them. There are many simple and frugal ways to create holiday magic, but you need to start right away. Once you’ve made decisions, stick to them.
Establish a budget
Setting a Christmas budget is important if you don’t want to end up panicking and spending large sums of money unnecessarily. Determine how much you can afford to spend on Christmas this year and set limitations. Apart from gifts, take into account holiday food, decorations, and whether you plan to travel or not. Establish how much you can spend on each of these things and stay within these limits.
Refrain from impulse shopping
When holiday season arrives, it’s hard not to look at stores’ windows filled with delightful Christmas items and ornaments that look like they’re calling out to you to buy them. Resist the urge and don’t be tricked into buying things you don’t actually need, even if they are on a discount. If you choose to do it once, it will become a chain reaction and you’ll end up with a bunch of stuff you didn’t initially plan to buy. Stick to your Christmas list and avoid unplanned spending.
Settle your priorities
There are many people in our lives we want to make happy on Christmas by giving them heart-warming gifts. However, the gifts won’t be the same for all of them and there’s nothing wrong with that. Set up a list of people you want to give presents to and start from top to bottom. Close family and friends are usually at the top, followed by cousins and colleagues from work. Make a list of potential gifts for all of them and see how the prices fit into your budget.
Shopping for kids
Children don’t value presents according to their price, as opposed to many adults. You don’t need to get them expensive presents like mobile phones – any type of gift will make them happy as long as it shows you’ve dedicated attention to choosing it and taken into account their interests. Also, you can always get crafty and make your own Christmas presents. It’ll be fun and your kids will certainly appreciate a personal touch. For the youngest members of your family look for some discount baby items and get your youngsters all set up for the holiday season.
Give charity gifts
Christmas is the time of sharing and giving and we mustn’t forget about those who have less than us. Think about donating some money to charity of your choice or giving Christmas presents to children at foster homes. It will put a smile on their face and it’s a great chance for you to do a selfless good deed and help others. This way money will be spent on a good cause instead on extravagant Christmas shopping.
Gift cards and vouchers are a great solution if you’re pondering about what to get someone for Christmas. However, bear in mind that they have an expiration date and that they need to be used before that time.
Wrapping paper isn’t the most important part of a Christmas gift so there’s no need to spend more money on expensive gift wrappings. Avoid any kind of unnecessary decorative elements that can be pricey, such as little bells or bows and keep it simple. Chances are that it will go to trash cans anyway so it’s not worth spending the extra money.
It’s time to remember that Christmas isn’t only about fancy decorations and presents, regardless of how worn out this phrase sounds. Let’s pay attention to important aspects of holidays, like spending time with your loved ones and enjoying the holiday spirit. Use these frugal ways to have the merriest Christmas of all without making unnecessary expenses. Most importantly, resist to temptations of impulse buying and stick to your money-saving plans.
Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She feels she knows a thing or two about raising happy, healthy and confident kids, and offers helpful advice in hers parenting articles. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”
Well readers, I hope this was helpful advice and that you save a bunch of money this year! Take care, spend wisely, and Happy Holidays!