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The cost-of-living crisis is affecting many of us this year and inevitably it will have an effect on Christmas. Maybe you are worried about how you are going to afford to celebrate and buy presents, or you might be feeling down about the prospect of cutting back and missing out on some of your Christmas traditions and jollities.
If this is you, I hope this blog post will come to the rescue. I’ll be sharing some ways to cut down on spending this Christmas but without having to sacrifice your enjoyment of the season. If you’re interested, read on!
How To Cut Down On Spending This Christmas (And Still Have A Great Time)
Make a budget
You might be able to afford more Christmas luxuries than you think – if you budget for them. This might mean cutting down on some everyday, non-seasonal purchases in the run up to Christmas, but you may decide it’s worth it if it means you can have that posh Christmas dessert, high-quality crackers or a larger budget for gifts for your children. It can be hard to know when to start when making a budget, but there are some online tools that can help, like this budget planning calculator.
Shop at local businesses
At first glance, this might seem like it would be a more expensive option, but that is actually not always the case. Many small, local businesses offer high quality or homemade foods or gifts that are not any more expensive than the supermarket equivalent. Sometimes you’ll even find a total bargain. Having unique, specialist foods, plus giving unique handmade gifts, will make your Christmas feel more special and lavish, but if you’re careful, you won’t have to spend any more than usual. You will also save money on travel by shopping locally.
Make your own Christmas decorations
If you’re in need of some new Christmas decorations, there’s no need to go and buy any – you can make them yourself. A few years ago I found some easy tutorials online for making stars and snowflakes out of paper – a resource I had plenty of at home. They looked really effective! You can read more about my
You can also decorate using nature. Pick winter foliage like holly, ivy, berries and evergreen firs from your garden or a public place – just make sure to leave enough for people to enjoy outdoors, and don’t pick from other people’s gardens. Pick what is in abundance and also check before picking berries and unfamiliar plants – some may be toxic for humans or pets so do your research to make sure they are safe before bringing them into your home.
Use what you already have
It’s tempting to buy lots of new decor each Christmas but first, consider what you already have. Do you have a box of old Christmas decorations lurking in a box in the attic somewhere? Maybe they haven’t resurfaced for years as it’s been easier to buy new than dig them out.
This could be the year to find them – not only could it provide a novelty when you rediscover old favourites, but you can ADD them to any newer decorations you have from more recent years. This way, and with the addition of any homemade or nature decorations, you can go all-out on Christmas decorations without spending a penny. Having a very decorated house could help make up for other areas where you can’t afford to splash out.
You can even use general decorations that could be repurposed for Christmas, such as party balloons (just pick out the Christmassy colours), home decor that happens to be red, green or gold, or fairy lights that you use all year round.
Focus on (free) experiences rather than things
Sometimes it can feel like Christmas is all about physical things – presents, decorations, food and drink… and because of this, spending a lot of money can feel like a given at this time of year. But sometimes we need to step back and remember that the most precious and important parts of Christmas are free. Spending time with our family, friends and loved ones, getting into that Christmassy atmosphere and, if you are religious, there’s that side of it too.
When you think about it, there are so many Christmassy experiences that don’t involve spending a penny. Here are a few ideas:
Go for a walk
Go for a walk and enjoy Christmassy nature such as snow, holly, robins and fir trees – and also admire Christmas lights and decorations.
Listen to Christmas music
Listen to Christmas music or have it playing in the background – this will enhance the Christmassy mood. Browse Spotify or YouTube and see if you can discover new Christmas music (or remixes / arrangements) that you hadn’t heard before, to keep things fresh.
Play board games
Play board games (that you already own) with family and friends. Board games are such a cosy Christmassy activity and they are a great social activity for a group.
How Will You Cut Down On Spending This Christmas?
Will you be cutting down on spending in any of the ways mentioned in this post? Do you have any other ideas of how to cut down on spending at Christmas time? Whatever your situation, I wish you the happiest of seasons and I hope you are able to find ways to enjoy your Christmas just as much as usual, even if it is on a smaller budget. If you have any thoughts or ideas on the topic, please do share them in the comments below!