The cost of Christmas and Holiday gift-giving can quickly become steep, mentally and financially draining especially if you have a large group of friends or a huge family! 2020 is rolling to a close and that means the Christmas holiday season is upon us. If money is tight, Christmas can feel more like an imposition than a celebration. Stressing about the holidays isn’t fun and can lead to feelings of resentment towards your more affluent family and friends. If you’re worried about how you can afford to buy a gift for everyone, then there are plenty of tricks to give your loved ones something they’ll cherish.

But Christmas shopping doesn’t have to be a budget-buster. There are plenty of ways you can cut back on holiday expenses, shaving off a few shillings or even eliminating them entirely. You just have to be willing to try something new. If you’re looking for ways to cut back this holiday season, here are some of my favorite tips for doing your Christmas shopping on a budget.

1. Determine how much you can afford to spend on Christmas. You can do this by setting aside a fund for just the festivities, or setting aside a saving scheme off your personal income/ cash inflow/ profits, and dedicating it to only being spent during the pre- and post-Christmas times.

2: Write a Christmas List. Christmas lists aren’t just for children! This one is a little different from the ones you wrote as a kid, however, as it’s a list consisting of everyone you will buy for and your budget for each. Therefore, make a list of all your holiday obligations, including presents, travel, and decorations. When you do this, you have a clear idea of how much money you’ll need to spend, and this will help you decide what to buy them.

3: Looking at a long list of presents to buy? I’d say Choose Thoughtfulness Over Price. Never underestimate the power of a thoughtful gift. As lovely as it is to receive an expensive present, it is just as wonderful, if not more, to receive a gift that shows the person truly knows you. Think about inside jokes and funny memories when picking out a present for people, and it doesn’t have to be costly! Eschew traditional gifts in favor of sweat equity where you can.

4: Be Stricter with Your Spending in Other Areas. During the holiday season, you should create a budget that reflects how much you will be spending. This means you might have to cut down on some of your other luxuries like evenings out and takeaways!

5: Look for Deals. It might seem obvious, but there are many deals that will slip under your nose. Get on the web and get out shopping to hunt down the best deals for presents; as most stores, brands/ companies, shops will be cutting prices so as to dispose off the 2020 stock as they cross to the next financial year. Such offers do create a great time for doing your Christmas shopping!

6: Peruse Thrift Shops. Not everything has to be brand new for it to be appreciated. Have a look around thrift shops for unique gifts for your loved ones. This way you will know for sure that they won’t receive the present from anyone else!

7: Get Crafty. Handmade gifts are usually cheaper than buying brand new and they will show the person that you truly appreciate them. It might take some time, of course, but their faces will be worth it; for, everyone loves a homemade gift. If you start early, you could knit everybody a comfy sweater or scarf. Other ideas include:

· Jewelry

· Baked Goods

· Home Decorations

· Handmade Crafts

· Sweaters

8. Take the money you’d spend on gifts and treat everyone to dinner at your favorite restaurant, an evening at the movies. Also, about the movies, as opposed to going to the Cinemas, I’d suggest having an in-house movie watch time, bonding with your family and friends. Here’s some Festive Themed Movies you could catch while at it. The camaraderie you get from sharing an experience together will last longer than the thrill of opening a cashmere sweater.

Yes, we’d all agree Christmas time can be stressful for money, but by cutting down on the cost by following any of the shared hacks here, it could save a lot of money and mental drain. There are Lots of ways to be creative, so just continue to think out of the box. Feel there are any I left out, or have your own metric you follow to save big time this season? Kindly share them in the comments section. Happy Holidays! Cheers!