Christmas on a budget

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year… But it can also be the most expensive and stressful time of the year for some people too. I will be honest, I myself have been one of those people. I have been plagued with anxiety worrying about the cost of Christmas, stressing over buying christmas presents and whether I’ve spent enough money and worrying whether people will be satisfied with what I’ve bought them or not.

But I realised that by stressing so much about all of that stuff, i wasn’t enjoying the run up to Christmas like I should have been. I was taking the enjoyment of Christmas away from myself and was forgetting what it is that Christmas is all about. It isn’t (or shouldn’t be) about how much money you spend or what gift you buy someone. It’s the thought that went into buying someone that present that matters. If someone spent £500 on me, I’d be flattered and massively grateful but if someone bought me a £2 pair of slipper socks because they know I love them I would be just as grateful and I can tell you which present would mean more to me and it would be the socks because of the thought that went into buying them. So this year, don’t feel like you have to go skinting yourself to please others.

If you too are feeling the pressures of Christmas this year, here’s some tips I have for you that I hope will make you feel better:

  • Start Christmas planning in the following January. That is when I hit the shops to buy all of my wrapping paper, cards, decorations and small gift sets for the next Christmas because they’re all reduced and in the sales. I bought 10 rolls of wrapping paper for £1!
  • I start to buy small presents in September when stores start to reduce some of their stuff, I then put them away for Christmas to avoid last minute panic buying in December which is often expensive.
  • Set yourself a practical budget and stick to it. Don’t feel pressured to buy certain presents if you simply can’t afford them.
  • Buy a jar and save any change you have throughout the year. Use this money at Christmas to help towards your Christmas food shop, ect.
  • There are lots of free activities that you can take part in with your children over the Christmas period. Just research free Christmas activities in your area.
  • If you don’t already, try out budget supermarkets. They are a lot cheaper than some of the others. Some supermarkets offer a loyalty points scheme, save them throughout the year and use them all towards your Christmas shopping.

Thank you for reading my tips on ‘Christmas on a budget’, if you are feeling under pressure about Christmas, I hope you found them to be helpful and I hope they made you feel better.

Just remember that above all else, the thing that really matters at Christmas is family. I know it might sound like a cliche but it isn’t essential to spend a lot of money at Christmas time especially if you can’t afford to. Your family and friends appreciate you, not just how much money you spend on them.

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