Chances to Save Money This Christmas
Happy December, Sheroes! This part of the year is always a good one, but Christmas in the time of a pandemic gives us an extra special chance to eat, drink, be merry, and save money. That last one might be a bit of a head-scratcher since the holiday season is usually a time of celebration, gift-giving, and – let’s face it – considerable cost. But through the eyes of the financially savvy, even a traditionally festive and expensive occasion could be an opportunity to make smart spending choices.
The first thing to realize is that there’s no need to let go of our usual holiday rituals to have a happy Christmas. After everything that has happened, the year-end celebrations for 2020 might even be the most meaningful ones we’ll ever have. And as we give thanks for our health, loved ones, and other blessings, it’s easy to face the festivities with a happier heart, not to mention a thicker wallet!
But to make it a lot easier for you, here are a few things to help you remember your budget. For every holiday activity that you will savor, just check out how you help your finances survive the season, even as you check off your to-do list by Christmas!
When planning for your Christmas decorations at home…
Remember that not everything has to be brand-new, expensive, and flashy to be beautiful. But at the same time, being too much of a cheapskate doesn’t really bode well for good taste. Before anything else, know the space that you’re planning to decorate and plan accordingly – what look are you going for, and how much do you need to achieve it? Is there anything from your own stash of existing decorations that you can use? Look at what you already own and you might be surprised at how little you need to spend on anything else! And if you do need something more, set a budget for decorations and stick to it.
But for those with any sort of talent when it comes to arts and crafts, why not try making your own Christmas decorations? Aside from putting your skills to good use, you’ll also get the chance to spend more quality time with your family if they’re willing to help. And of course, you’ll save money in the process!
When shopping for Christmas gifts…
We’re all aware of the usual life hacks for saving money on gifts – look for Christmas sales, try to make personalized and homemade gifts, and chip in on group gifts. But in these extraordinary times, it’s practically impossible to physically go gift shopping and personally hand over your gifts to other people. If you’ve been observing the proper safety protocols all this time, you’re probably missing quality time with those who matter to you.
So instead of ordering gifts and paying for delivery fees, why not give the gift of time, celebration, and togetherness to your loved ones for Christmas? Whether it’s an online party or a socially distanced reunion, this kind of gift will definitely make your holidays (and your wallet) happy!
When wrapping your Christmas gifts…
If you do decide to give material gifts, there are other chances to save money when it comes to gift wrapping. For those who want to go the traditional way of shopping and wrapping gifts yourself, try to be creative when it comes to what kind of package you want for your gifts. Instead of buying bows and wrapping paper, reuse any ribbons and other design elements that may already be inside your home. Even if you go the eco-friendly route of wrapping your gifts in plain paper, old magazines, or newspaper, the pop of color from a nice ribbon can give it that nice Christmas touch.
When dressing up for a socially distanced Christmas party…
Whether the pandemic is over or not, this time of the year always calls for reunions and gatherings. Getting invited to (or organizing) a Christmas party gives us a chance to finally fix our hair, wear makeup, and dress up for something other than boring Zoom meetings. And guess what - it’s also another chance to save money!
It may be tempting to order a new dress or even a whole new wardrobe to celebrate the occasion, but if you truly want to save money, why not shop your own closet instead? Since we’ve mostly been indoors all year, you’re bound to find and fall in love with things that you’ve forgotten about throughout the year. Look through the clothes, shoes, and accessories you already own, and you’ll find your free Christmas outfit for sure!
When preparing the family’s Noche Buena…
Food can make or break any occasion, so it’s hard to imagine scrimping on something like Noche Buena. But saving money on food doesn’t mean that we’re sacrificing the quality and quantity of one of the best things about the holidays. Good financial decisions can still give us good Christmas food! If you want to make your Noche Buena a little more affordable, take the time to strategize your options for the menu.
Planning the meal and creating a grocery list beforehand can help you prevent going over your budget. Check your pantry for items that you already have. At the store, you can also look for specially priced Christmas packages that might be more affordable. And if it’s a big reunion, make it a pot-luck dinner and ask your family members to bring dishes, desserts, or drinks. This way, you’ll get to cut costs and share different kinds of food together!
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