Christmas is a fun and exciting time to spend with loved ones, but it can be very expensive. If your finances look like Christmas will be more Grinch than gifts, check out our tips on how to do Christmas on a budget.
For some, the scale of presents, food and social events at Christmas time is simply unaffordable. The average British household will spend around £997 on Christmas in the UK this year. That’s a lot of money for just one day.
Christmas doesn’t have to be a time of year you dread if you do Christmas on a budget. This guide will show you how to have a successful and enjoyable festive season this year with HyperJar’s seven tips to do Christmas on a budget.
Christmas on a Budget
Christmas on a budget doesn’t mean Christmas will be any less enjoyable, it just means making a few changes to fit in with your financial circumstances right now.
Money can be a tricky subject. Try having a chat with your friends and family about it. They’ll understand and will be happy that you’re not putting pressure on yourself to overspend. Setting a budget will benefit everyone as they will spend less too. You could:
· Introduce a spending limit for gifts
· Choose to have an evening out with friends instead of exchanging gifts
· Do a Secret Santa
· Set a limit of one gift per person
It can be easy to overspend at Christmas, get into debt, or dip into your savings. Setting a Christmas budget will help you stick to your long-term financial goals. You’ll avoid debt and can have more control over your finances. You can save for Christmas with HyperJar’s jars by putting a little away each month to build a Christmas fund.
7 Ways to do Christmas on a Budget
Here are seven ways to do Christmas on a Budget this year:
1. Plan ahead
Christmas is on the same day each year, so plan ahead to keep control of your finances. Saving up for Christmas is important because you can relax knowing that your Christmas costs are covered.
Shopping in the sale is a great way to save money, and extra savvy shoppers will get their presents in the January sales and store them away until Christmas. You can be rewarded when you plan and shop with Hyperjar’s Rewards scheme. We’ve partnered with the UK’s favourite brands to give HyperJar customers exclusive discounts and special offers.
2. Make a Christmas budget
Christmas costs can add up, so you should make a Christmas budget to help manage the cost of the festive season. Try using a Christmas preparation planner to ensure you have calculated all costs, even down to festive napkins and pigs in blankets!
Add a line to your monthly budget for ‘Christmas’ and save a little money each month. This way, you’ll have a pot of money saved specifically for your Christmas budget. When calculating your overall monthly budget, write down monthly income and expenses, then decide how much you can afford to put away each month.
To read more about saving money at Christmas, you can read our blog on How To Save Money For Christmas 2023.
3. Cut back on your expenses
The best way to save is to cut back on your expenses. Take a look at your bank statements and see where you could save money. You may have to make small sacrifices, but it will be worth it when your Christmas is free from worries about money.
· Don’t be fooled by Christmas deals. Some of them are not worth it
· Take advantage of 2-for-1 or 3-for-2 offers
· Shop at stores that offer rewards points
· Eat out less in the months leading up to Christmas
· Cancel your subscriptions. For example, if you cancel your Netflix and Disney+ Subscriptions, you could save almost £20 per month. That’s £240 that could be added to your Christmas budget.
· Control your spending leading up to Christmas using payment controls
4. Prioritise your Christmas spending
You know Christmas is coming, so prioritise your Christmas spending before the big day arrives. Keep Christmas in the back of your mind each time you go shopping or at the supermarket so you can pick things up now and again. This means you won’t have to buy everything in one go, which could strain your finances.
To save money for Christmas throughout the year, open a HyperJar account and use our handy savings jars. You can rename your jar ‘Christmas fund’ and watch it grow throughout the year.
Making a do-it-yourself gift is a great way to save money. They are a great outlet for your creativity, and you can use supplies you already have in the house. A DIY gift is a fun and personalised gift that shows how much effort you have put into it. The person receiving it will have a unique gift that they will treasure. It could be a knitted scarf, a photo of you and your siblings all together for your parents, or something that uses your talent or skills.
It doesn’t have to just be gifts you can DIY at Christmas. You can DIY lots of different things to help manage your Christmas budget, including:
· DIY cards or E-cards using Canva
· Ornaments for the Christmas Tree
· Food items (Cakes, Pickles, Cookies)
6. Keep tracking your spending
Keeping track of your spending is important all year round. It helps to keep your finances organised and ensures you don’t get into any financial hardship. The pros of keeping track of your spending are:
· You know how much money you’ve spent each month and on what
· You can see the progress of your savings to boost your motivation
· You will not miss any essential payments such as rent, loan payments or bills
· You can allocate a small amount to your Christmas fund
7. It’s the thought that counts
Don’t get yourself down if you are struggling to save money for Christmas; it’s an expensive time. As the cost of living is rising, it’s getting more expensive each year. When you’re thinking of gifts to buy your loved ones, prioritise memories over materialism. It’s the thought that counts, and often the less expensive but more thoughtful Christmas gifts are the ones people cherish. You could even discuss not getting presents this year, booking a weekend away, or going for a big family meal instead.
Christmas can be stressful, and money worries can add to it. By planning ahead and setting a budget for Christmas, you can minimise stress and enjoy the festive period without debt hovering over you.
Don’t get sucked into the marketing of festive excess; it’s simply unnecessary and can cause problems affecting your financial and mental well-being. A HyperJar card can help you stay on top of your finances and keep track of your spending at Christmas and all year round.