Money Saving Tips This Christmas
Christmas is the season of caring, sharing and giving. However, shopping for gifts or home decoration during this festive period can add up and be exhausting. Here are some means to spend smartly this Christmas.
Find online deals
Many have the misconception that online deals are scarce during the festive period. The truth is that online deals are aplenty across various segments such as fashion, festive decoration, home appliances, food, and more. Scour the net for coupon codes well in advance before Christmas to avoid last minute surprises. By shopping in advance, not only do you avoid the inevitable price hike closer to Christmas, you also save on express shipping and avoid the awkward situation of arriving with your gift still in transit.
Do it yourself (DIY)
DIYs not only inject more sentiment and thought into a gift, it is also typically less costly that getting it straight from the store. Rediscover or start exploring your crafting skills this Christmas. If you want to gift your best group of friends a common present, but is a tad low on budget, try printing out all the previous group Christmas celebrations over the years. The effort of digging up past Facebook photos not only fill you up with nostalgia, but the gift itself will be a great talking point to kickstart the Christmas chatter. This will definitely get you on Santa’s ‘Nice’ list.
Do it with others
DIYs need not be a lonely endeavor. Try doing up a simple gift such as a personalized pop out Christmas card, or a photo album for your relatives, classmates, or colleagues together with a bunch of friends. Not only will this lighten the work load, it is also a great bonding activity and can be a fun and memorable experience.
Ever wanted to learn how to knit, or paint a simple portrait? This is a great opportunity to throw your excuses out the window, and exchange new skills with your circle of friends.
Cook up a storm
If you are good at whipping up dishes, try baking Christmas tree or reindeer shaped cookies for friends. Invite your loved ones over to your place for some roasted turkey and ham. Do not be afraid to add in some fusion dishes as well. After all, Singapore is a melting pot of cultures. Not only is this less costly than going out for an expensive dinner, the private and casual setting is also great for catching up.
For an added ambience, drape fairy lights in the dining area. You need not buy the fairy lights at departmental stores. Sites such as Shopee, Taobao, and Qoo10 are great alternatives that tend to be cheaper as well. Such fairy lights can be borrowed, and even thrifted in a second hand shop.
List all needed items
Shop with a list on hand, and check it twice before sticking to it to prevent going on a spree for your personal items. It can be tough to stay focused with all the fast-paced Christmas songs playing in the background, and people walking around with large bags of goodies for their loved ones. You may feel inclined to join in the splurge, but remind yourself to stick to the necessary items on the list.
Track how much you spend
In an ideal world, your actual spending should be identical to your planned expenses. However, the truth is that these two numbers may not be the same. Tracking your spending will be important to ensure that you are spending within your budget. In the event that you have exceeded the original limit set, knowing how much you have exceeded can help you to adjust other aspects of your spending accordingly. You can monitor it through a bunch of free apps available, or by jotting it down in your finance journal.
Impose a spending limit
Before the Christmas madness begins, ring up your credit card provider to enforce a spending limit on your credit card. While the limit can be lifted, this acts as a great psychological barrier and reminder to not overspend. You can even implement a cash withdrawal limit to your bank account by calling your bank service provider.
Postpone your festive mood
Going out on Christmas eve or Christmas day itself is going to cost you a bomb. Although the ambience can be joyous, many things are overpriced. This Christmas, why not postpone the festive mood to skip the crowd and get the most out of your spending. Do without fancy dinners and postpone paid activities that can easily double in price during the period. This does not mean that you need to stay home and watch TV during Christmas. There are a multitude of free activities and festivals available that allow you to soak in the glittering lights and spirits at no charge.
Spice up your gift wraps
Non-thematic wrapping papers can be recycled. Many wrapping papers, especially plastic wraps or wrapping papers with a later of wax, are very long lasting. Remember to keep track of who gave you what wrapping paper by taping the sender’s name and date received on the wrapping paper during storage. You can even save little figurines from cakes and tie them to the present for a great overall polished look. It will make the gift look more customised too. By reusing wrapping papers, you are doing your part to better the environment as well.
Many home decorations can be reused for Christmas. By sticking washi tape, adding sparkly sprinkles, or using paint markers on your Christmas tree ornaments, you can give them a totally different look. You can even give pre-loved home decorations a second life by thrifting them from the Salvation Army.
Budgeting wisely is often easier said than done. However, planning ahead is a sure step forward to spending within limits. Whenever tempted to splurge, remind yourself that this Christmas smartly the new year countdown will happen within a week from Christmas and you need to portion your money wisely.