As December approaches there is joy in the air, as people start getting ready for Christmas. Christmas is a season of joy, love and sharing. It is a time when families come together and celebrate. It is also a time when your budget is highly stressed. This is a time when you need to appropriately handle your finances by taking into consideration all the additional costs.
Today, we will look at some of the Smart ways of getting the most in a very limited budget.
Make a list of things
First and foremost make an exhaustive list of things that you plan to do. Include the names of people you want to gift, the extra groceries needed for making Christmas sweets, the list of decoration items and the other things that you want to do.
Categorise and prioritise this list with the appropriate budget allocation. This detailed list will give you an exact idea of the total budget needed for Christmas. If the shopping list exceeds the tentative budget amount, then you need to cut down your expenses. Buy only things that you can afford.
Calculate your budget with the help of a Budget Planner, in order to spend wisely. Also it is good to start saving early for Christmas, as the expenses would be more than your regular monthly expenses. Give gifts only to people whom you really want to give rather than as an obligation.
Remember not to cut down on charitable giving, as giving to the poor and needy is the very essence of Christmas.
Make an analysis of different discount coupons and online sales
Many online sites provide good deals for Christmas. There are many discount and coupon sites which offer discount codes, which can be easily used. Depending upon your need, you can easily shortlist a few of them and look for good offers. Buy only those things which are in your list. Avoid buying un-necessary extra things, even if there are good offers on the same.
Many online shopping sites offer free packing and delivery. You can choose an item and get it directly delivered to a required address. This is a great benefit and it needs to be taken advantage of, but ensure that you do it well in advance. Some of the best online shopping sites to save money are Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal.
Avoid branded items as they will cost you more, instead go for things which look good and taste better. This will reduce your expenses drastically. For e.g. Perfumes.
Avoid giving Gift Cards as they have a expiry date and people forget to use them.
Cash back on Credit cards and E-wallets
Many credit cards and E wallets offer cash back facilities. You can use cash back facilities on all your purchases. Ensure that you clear all your outstanding balances at the end of the month so that you take advantage of complete interest free spending.
If you have teenagers in your family who have a mobile then you can transfer funds through E–wallets like Paytm, Freecharge etc., and they will be more than happy to receive this gift.
DIY gifts and Decorations
There is no need to buy extraordinary gifts to show your love and appreciation. Many people appreciate the simplicity and thought in giving gifts.
Today, there are many online video tutorials which can help in making some cost saving items such as crafts, paintings, bags, frames, portraits, vases etc. There are many DIY boxes which give you all the material and detailed “how to make” information. You can easily make beautiful greeting cards and send them to your loved ones. They will surely appreciate your effort and time in receiving these handmade gifts and greeting cards.
Homemade Christmas Meal and Sweets
You can plan in advance an elaborate meal which can be easily cooked at home. There are some good discounts on groceries available on Big basket and other online groceries.
There are many online tutorials about various Christmas recipes, which can help you plan a good meal right from the starters to the desert. Home baked cookies, pies and other Christmas goodies can add an authentic flavour to your Christmas meal. This is one of the most important ways of saving money during Christmas time.
Giving to Charity and other good causes
Giving is the most important aspect of the spirit of Christmas. You can plan on giving money or sponsoring a meal for an old age home or an orphanage. You could buy gifts and toys for your driver and maid’s children. It is very important to keep this in mind as God loves a cheerful giver and you will be abundantly blessed by being a part of any giving.
Remember, giving can also be in the form of spending time with lonely and old people. Bringing a smile to the lonely, lost, depressed and hurt people around you, is celebrating Christmas in the true spirit. After all Christmas is all about spreading joy and love around you.
The above are some of the best money saving tips during Christmas time.
To read our earlier article , please click here Cooking on budget.
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