This article was last updated on September 27
Christmas spending over the last 2 or 3 years has been relatively low in comparison with other years, but that’s all set to change this Christmas. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), shoppers are ready to part with their cash this holiday season for the first time since the recession hit. The NRF has forecast total retail sales growth of 2.3% for November and December this year, which means that consumers plan to spend an average of $688.87 on holiday shopping this year, an incredible figure. So if that’s the sort of money the average person on the street is willing to spend this Christmas, how many of you are actually trying to save?
Prepare in advance
The key to saving money at Christmas is preparing in advance and buying presents and decorations early before the rush starts. The best way to do this is to make lists, so grab a pen and piece of paper and note down anything you need to purchase, from presents to decorations and food. Then set yourself a price your willing to spend next to each item and you essentially have a Christmas budget.
Save money on your Christmas presents
When it comes to your Christmas presents, do you buy the first present you see or do you shop around? If you know what you want to buy someone, then use a shopping comparison site to try and find the cheapest price. Also try to avoid buying presents on impulse because you may be wasting money. If you save just $10 on every present you buy, the amount you save can add up pretty quickly. (See Christmas gift ideas for Him and Her)
Save money on your Christmas decorations
My number one tip here is not to just buy cheap Christmas decorations to use for just one year before you throw them out. I haven’t bought Christmas decorations for a number of years now, I wrap them up safely and neatly and I put them away for use the following year, I save a lot of money by doing this, plus who really likes spending money on novelty things that will last just a few weeks of the year? It just doesn’t make sense to me!
Hosting a Christmas party?
If you’re hosting a Christmas party, you should make it fun and festive but don’t think that you have to spend excessively to do so. Ask any guests that are joining you to bring one item of food or drink with them; it can help save you a lot of money. Also if you are short a few plates or glasses, then ask to borrow some from your guests, you’re not going to need them once the party has finished so there’s no need to go out and buy new sets. If you are planning on spending some money to make your party a success, then make sure you include the amount in your Christmas budget; don’t spend money that you don’t have!
Some final money saving Christmas tips
- In the run up to Christmas keep an eye out for any special offers and try and save money wherever you can.
- Don’t spend money at Christmas that you don’t have! Try to avoid buying presents for Christmas on store or credit cards; if you don’t pay it back straight away you may have to face a lot of credit card charges.
- To avoid spending money at Christmas that you don’t have you should set up a Christmas budget. Include in your budget anything that you expect to spend money on and stick to it, it’s a great way to monitor your Christmas expenditure.
- Start saving for next Christmas! – A great way you can save money for such occasions is to open up a high interest savings account and set up a direct payment from your bank account every time you get paid from your place of work. I do this and I don’t even notice that the money has left my account, you should try and forget about it and only go back to the account at Christmas when you should have a nice surprise.