Why is it that Christmas always comes along when there's no money in the piggy bank? It happens every year, and yet, most of us don't feel ready for it financially. If you're feeling a little worried about how to afford the upcoming festivities, don't worry, you can get through it without being flush. Here are five tips to help you get through the holidays on a shoestring budget:
Get A Little Financial Help
Why not consider small low interest loans to help you get through the holidays? That extra money can go a long way to giving you peace of mind into the New Year. This is particularly true if you're always OK with your finances, but you need that little bit extra for Christmas.
Waste Not Want Not
In America, over $165 billion dollars worth of food is thrown away annually, and nearly $300 million dollars worth of that is just Christmas turkey. Aside from the environmental impact of overbuying, these statistics should reassure you that you can trim down the food you buy for your family over the holidays and nobody will go hungry. Realistically, how much food do you need? It can be fancy, but it doesn't have to be excessive.
No Need To Spend Big Bucks On Babies
We can often feel like we must provide our children with the perfect Christmas every year by buying them lots of presents. Did you know that you are enough to provide that for them? The love of you, your partner, your family, and friends, is enough.Children will remember laughing and memories at Christmas, not the gifts they received. This is especially true for babies who by the age of 8 or 9 can usually only recall 35% of memories from before they were three. They don't need expensive clothes and toys, they won't remember them and they won't miss out on not having them.
Give One Gift Only, Or No Gift At All
Instead of stretching your funds out to lots of presents for each person, why not get them one great gift each. This is a particularly good strategy for friends and family members who aren't at home with you. Even better, you could skip gifts altogether and promise to spend time together instead. A promise of coffee and a cake in the new year or travel tickets to see them could really make their Christmas, especially if they are one of the 1 in 3 seniors who consider themselves lonely in America.
Keep It To One Or Two Special Days Only
Thanksgiving and Christmas can often spill into Christmas Eve, New Year, various Christmas occasions in between, until eventually, it feels like money is hemorrhaging daily. The holidays needn't be a spending spree. Keep activities free or cheap by doing things like:Go for a walk in a forest with alpinesPlay in the snow Play festive games at homeMake hot chocolate and watch Christmas filmsDo festive arts and craft with cleaned trash like kitchen roll tubes and milk cartons
By saving money throughout the season, you'll be able to target funds on special days. Although activities like those above can make it a special season overall.
"The best gift around any Christmas tree? The presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other." - Burton HillisBy following our tips above, and by being creative, you can easily get through the holidays on a shoestring. By focusing on love and experiences, rather than things, you're sure to have a very merry Christmas indeed.