For many families, Christmas can be a tough time of year with the financial burden that now comes with the most wonderful time of the year.
To combat this, personal debt expert at Creditfix, Maxine McCreadie has shared her top tips on how families can keep the cost down and have a wonderful Christmas.
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Set a budget for presents and stick to it
Planning ahead who you are buying presents for and how much you are willing to spend is a must when it comes to Christmas. While we may be tempted to go overboard and buy our loved ones everything they want, it’s important you only spend what you can afford.
Setting a budget per person is a great way of ensuring you don’t spend beyond your means and leave yourself in trouble.
While it’s great gifting presents, the best part of the holiday is getting to spend time with family and friends – a meaning often lost this time of the year.
Use your Christmas dinner leftovers and reduce food waste
Most of us wait all year to enjoy our famed Christmas dinner but there’s so much more to get out of it than just that day.
This year, why not buy a bigger turkey for example and use the meat for a range of different meals in the days past Christmas? Think of a turkey curry or perhaps keep some aside to make a great sandwich.
While it’s slightly more expensive up front, making your food stretch over the Christmas period will help keep the food bill down this year.
Big family? Why not do secret Santa?
If you have a big family, the thought of buying presents can be daunting. Dealing with endless lists of items and a building bill too.
Secret Santa is a creative and cost-effective way to take the stress out of gift-giving at Christmas. By setting a limit per person, everyone will have a present to open on Christmas morning and will give your bank balance a break too.
Look to Vinted and Depop for some second-hand treasures
Finding the latest fashion without paying high street prices has never been easier thanks to the surge in second-hand seller platforms.
Vinted and Depop are great platforms to get rid of old clothes that you don’t need, but also a great place to bag a vintage bargain – a great present for those into vintage designer brands.
It’s free to set up an account on either and you can get savings on pre-loved big brands from the get-go.
Get creative: Make it yourself!
Have you got a particular knack for making things?
If you’re talented at a crafting hobby, this could be the perfect key to keeping costs down this year. Knitting jumpers, hats and scarves are great gifts and with the cold weather now here to stay, will no doubt be very welcomed this time of year.
If you don’t possess that skill yourself, reach out to family and friends in a bid to stay away from the high street and keep the cost of Christmas low this year.
Maxine added: “It’s no secret that a lot of families are struggling financially with the cost of living crisis and a time of year that is supposed to be filled with happiness and joy, for many is met with stress and anxiety.
It’s crucial to avoid spending outside of your means this Christmas as the joy will be very much short-lived if you risk falling into debt. If you do feel the pinch of financial stress this Christmas, please open up to loved ones for support.”