December is a short month in terms of work for me as our office close over Christmas. We’re lucky enough to get paid before Christmas to help with all the expenses over Christmas. I’m wondering though, does that actually just increasing my spending over the Christmas period, leaving me with a January diet consisting of soup and tuna? I certainly feel that might be the case (judging from previous years…)
Do you recognise this behaviour? Do you save up for Christmas all year to make sure you can afford all the gifts, travel, food, etc? Do you feel it’s just getting a bit too much? I certainly do.
It seems as though others are feeling the consumerism hype is getting a bit old. According to a recent survey by My Voucher Codes 42% of shoppers are cutting spending this Christmas. One of the most shocking results of the survey for me was the reply to this question: “How are you paying for Christmas this year?” where 30% stated that they would be using their credit cards, 10% would by dipping into their overdraft and 3% admitted to borrowing from friends and family to buy Christmas gifts and food. How awful is that? Isn’t Christmas supposed to be a holiday for spending time with family and friends to take time to appreciate each other, not borrow money from each other to buy each other presents you’ll exchange in the sale after Christmas anyway!
With this in mind I’ve created a list of 3 simple things you can do this Christmas (or next) to reduce your spending to make sure Christmas will be a merry and not a worry time of the year.
Tip number 1: One thing consumers were saying in the survey was that they will try to “Save money wherever you can” this Christmas. One easy way to do so is to make more use of your food. First thing you can do is to not buy all those chocolates and sweets. Usually I get left with so much chocolate and Christmas sweets after the holidays that they last me all the way to Easter! Also, why not make your own? It’s really simple and will be much more appreciated by friends and family. It also makes for a great Christmas gift! Also remember to make use of all left overs. There are endless amount of recipes of what to do with left over Christmas food out there so just give it a Google.
Tip number 2: Another popular answer from the survey on why they are cutting their spending this Christmas was because “I’m waiting for the sales“. This is a great idea. Done right, December could be one of your most cost effective months of the year! Why exchange Christmas presents on Christmas morning? If you’re not too bothered about traditional ways of Christmas, why not change your tradition and give each other Christmas gifts after the boxing day sale? Perhaps go for a shopping day with your family where they can pick what they want (within reason/budget)? It could be a lovely day out and make sure Christmas day is more about enjoying each others company, not playing with new toys.
Tip number 3: Finally, my last tip is a continuation of tip number one. Why not make more of your gifts yourself? I know not everyone are crafty, but perhaps you could offer something you can do for them like clean your dad’s car, give your mum a manicure, bake your nan a cake, host a dinner party for your friends, and so on. Take use of your skills to do something nice for your family and friends! If you have a young family, this is a great way to encourage the true spirit of Christmas and move away from pointless consumerism.
Have you tried any of these things yourself? Did it make a difference for you? Let me know in the comments below!