Last Updated on: 22nd November 2023, 06:40 pm
Concerned about your Christmas budget amid financial strain? You’re in good company. My Debt Plan provides a guide for a budget-friendly festive season.
The UK’s rising cost of living is expected to impact Christmas spending. According to a KPMG survey, 39% of respondents are planning to reduce gift spending, 34% will cut back on festive food, and 35% will spend less on eating out during the holidays. The 35-44 age group is particularly affected by inflation, with many facing higher costs for essentials and lacking savings.
Worried about a limited Christmas budget? Fear not; it’s entirely possible to enjoy the holidays without overspending. Here are our top tips for a cost-effective Christmas:
Distribute Costs Throughout the Year
The expenses of December, like gifts, holiday meals, and parties, can be substantial. A strategic approach is to distribute these costs over the year. Gradual purchasing can ease the burden of a large end-of-year expense. For instance, buying gifts throughout the year or slowly stocking up on non-perishable festive items can lessen the financial impact in December.
Implement a Present Budget
The true essence of Christmas gifts lies in their sentiment, not their cost. Setting a budget for presents, particularly with adults, can help maintain financial control. This limit can vary from £10 to £100, depending on your financial situation and the number of people you’re buying for.
Introduce a Secret Santa System
For those with extensive families or social circles, a Secret Santa arrangement can be a budget-friendly gifting method. This involves each person buying a gift for just one other person, keeping expenses and effort reasonable. You can also agree on a spending cap or theme for the gifts.
Compare Prices for Shopping
Starting your Christmas shopping early gives you the advantage of price comparison and deal hunting. This proactive approach can avoid the pitfalls of last-minute, expensive purchases. Stay cautious of attractive deferred payment options or store credit card offers, as they can lead to debt and affect your credit rating.
Consider Second-Hand Gifts
Don’t overlook second-hand gifts, especially for those with a taste for designer or vintage items. Online platforms like Depop, Vinted, and eBay, as well as local thrift shops, often offer unique and desirable items at lower prices.
Organise a Potluck for Festive Meals
If you’re hosting Christmas celebrations, consider a potluck approach to reduce costs. With guests contributing various dishes, the overall expense of festive meals can be significantly reduced.
Choose Budget-Friendly Food Options
Smart grocery shopping can also help manage your Christmas budget. Comparing prices and opting for more affordable alternatives, such as choosing chicken over turkey or cava over prosecco, can make a notable difference in your festive spending.