Thursday, 3 December 2015

Lifestyle | Thrifty Guide to Christmas


Although we love it, the festive season can be a bit of a strain on the old purse stings, as they like to say. 

There's nothing better than seeing the look on my friends or families faces when opening presents they weren't expecting but I often find myself overspending at Christmas time. This year I am trying to be organised and plan ahead, giving myself a budget and sticking to it. 


If like me you find Christmas a little spendy, here are some easy tips for how to save money this Christmas without skimping on presents.
  
Set a Budget
Setting budgets goes a long way especially when out shopping, it's easy to get sucked into the propaganda of Christmas and buy things that you don't need. I am going online this year for a lot of my gifts, that way I can focus and search for exactly what I need without getting distracted, because lets face it who needs that extra pair of fluffy bed socks perfectly placed by the till...

Handmade Goodies
We all love receiving a hand knitted wool jumper at Christmas... ok maybe we would prefer the latest Topshop number but a small homemade DIY project can make the perfect present to give at Christmas especially when your watching the pennies. Start off small and easy, like a set of crocheted coasters or bobble hat?! If baking is more your thing try handmade gingerbread gifts or a 'bake your own' gift, by filling a jar of ingredients and handmade written recipe? 
Etsy is my favourite place to find handmade gifts if you don't fancy making your own. I love supporting small businesses and you can find some amazing quirky gifts that are a little different from the usual DVD or pair of boxers.
Another idea I love is giving your friends a bit of 'time' instead of presents, write a voucher for an afternoon or evening doing something you both love, for example invite them over for afternoon tea and a catch up. Inexpensive and thoughtful
 
Check out my pinterest board for plenty more ideas and inspirations. 

Secret Santa?
 If you have a large group of friends or work colleagues, why not suggest a group Secret Santa to save money buying for each one. That way you will all receive a present but only have to buy one yourself. I love organising a get together where all my friends can swap presents and it is really fun trying to guess who has bought for you. Set a limit on price, that way you can't over spend and give yourself a little challenge to find the prefect gift for that price.


Wrap It Up
  Save on expensive wrapping paper by buying cheap brown paper and string then jazzing up your parcel with some left over coloured yarn or a pine cone from the garden. Super cheap yet really stylish and effective. After all its what's inside that counts, right?  
This year I am crocheting small trees to add a little personal touch to my wrapping instead of gift tags, aren't they cute!?

Tree Time?
   Although they look good, real Christmas trees can be expensive, save money by getting an artificial tree that will last a few years, spreading the cost over that time. Decorate with handmade garlands such as my pompom one (tutorial here) or a cute snowflake (like this one). P.s the star in the above photo was only £1 from B&Q.

 I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and have got some great ideas to save money and get thrifty this Christmas! There's so many ways to save, you really don't need to over do it every year. 

This post was inspired by Personal Capital who have an excellent financial tool that can help you manage your money this festive season. See if the wealth management tool can help you here...

Thanks for reading and Merry Christmas... Too early?!? 

Anna 

 
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