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On a Budget This Christmas? Don’t Fret!

On a Budget This Christmas

On a Budget This Christmas? Don’t Fret!

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If you are on a budget this Christmas, you may be a bit worried. When money is tight, it is easy to assume that Christmas won’t be the same. You may even be scared that you will disappoint people when you can’t spend a lot of money on them this year. There is no need to worry. You can have an amazing Christmas on a budget. Read on to discover some top tips to help you out:

Always start by working out what you can afford – Christmas is edging ever closer, and if you still have food and gifts to buy, work out what you can afford first. Don’t plan the perfect Christmas and then figure out the costs afterwards. By dealing with the finances first, you will then be able to shop within your means. This enables you to cut back in areas that aren’t as significant as others, ensuring you don’t have to miss out on the things that are important to you.

Cut back when it comes to buying presents – Talk to your friends and decide to either not do presents this year, or to put a cap on the amount spent on Christmas gifts. It’s likely that they will be thankful you have suggested it. You will be surprised by just how many people find themselves in the same position at this time of year. Another option to consider is doing Secret Santa amongst your group of friends. This means that you only need to buy one present instead of several.

Shop at charity stores – A lot of people are apprehensive about doing their shopping at charity stores, as they are worried that their loved ones will know where it has been purchased from and they will turn their nose up at the idea. Well, firstly, by reading these charity shopping tips you can discover how to pick up some great finds from charity stores. The great thing about charity shops is that they contain little gems that you won’t be able to find anywhere else, enabling you to gift something really unique. Not only this, but no one is ever going to know you have bought their present from a charity shop. Think about: unless they are following your every move, how are they supposed to know where you got the item?

Switch bank account – One way to give yourself a little bit of extra money over Christmas is to switch bank accounts. There are a lot of banks that will give you a cash bonus if you switch your current account over to them. You will usually need to move at least one direct debit to your new account in order to qualify for the bonus.

Search for voucher codes online before shopping – Becoming a savvy Internet shopper is a necessity if you are to save money this Christmas. Before you make a purchase, you need to do two things. The first is to see if you can get the item cheaper anywhere else. Type in the name of the product and search online. The different price points displayed at various stores may surprise you. The second step is to search online to find voucher codes. Most online retailers offer discounts, and it is fairly to find a code online, which will give you the likes of 10 or 20 per cent off your items.

Use the Internet to make your calls on Christmas Day – If you are like a lot of families, you will spend most of your day making phone calls to your loved ones. This can cost a lot of money, especially if you are calling an overseas number. The best thing to do is use the Internet to make your calls. This is easy nowadays thanks to the number of free services that are available, such as WhatsApp and Skype. All you will need is a Wi-Fi connection.

Make a list – Sorry to end on such a boring note, but making a list really is important. Just like your kids send a list to Santa, you need one to prepare for the Christmas period too. Being organised equates to being more efficient with your money, and it really does make a bigger difference than most people give it credit for.

Hopefully, you now feel better about going into the Christmas period with a smaller budget. This does not mean that your Christmas has to be any less special or spectacular. After all, it’s not about how much you spend; it’s about spending time with the ones you love and spreading the festive spirit.

Yen Deng
A foodie, traveller and Web Editor for Ultimate Lifestylist.

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