Christmas is such an expensive time of year for parents. This year more than ever. With the ever rising cost of living and the energy prices hikes a lot of all are already feeling the squeeze before even thinking about how we are going to afford Christmas.
A lot of us are feeling stressed just with the thought of Christmas and here is how we are planning to minimise our spending this year whilst still enjoying the festivities.
Start Planning for Christmas Early.
Whilst I know this won’t help people this Christmas it will hopefully encourage you to plan for next year (which will be here in the blink of an eye).
The first week of January I advise you to use an online saving calculator to see what you can afford to save each month. They are so easy to use and will help Christmas become less overwhelming each year. Even if you discover that you can only save a little amount each month it all adds up and is better than nothing.
Limit Christmas Activities (and find some free ones!)
I think us parents are our own worst enemies. We want to do everything we possibly can to get everyone feeling festive and of course social media doesn’t help, it feels like everyone else is doing lots of fun trips and activities. There are visits to Santa Claus, Christmas tree picking, Winter Wonderlands. It is never ending and can get so expensive.
In previous years we were the same. I think one year we took Amelia to 5 different Father Christmas grottos. Which is ridiculous and no doubt confusing for a child. This year we have scaled down a lot. We all want our children’s Christmas to be magical and it still will be without doing lots of expensive Christmas events.
I know I have great memories of Christmas when I was a child and we went to see Father Christmas once and that was it. No fun fairs, shows, winter wonderlands.
Wrap up warm and go and see all the Christmas lights in your area. Visit your local library and museums to see if they have any free Christmas crafts available (they often do), go to a Christingle Service, make a day of putting up your Christmas tree with Christmas music and fun snacks. There are so many amazing free activities to do at this time of year that your kids will love.
This year I am more conscious of what I am buying for my Children and saving everything I can for Christmas. What do your Children need? I have noticed that my middle child will soon need a new leotard for dance class. Usually I will buy her one when she needs it but this year she will get it as a Christmas gift which I know she will be delighted with.
My eldest daughter needs warm running clothes for athletics. Again this will be a Christmas gift. Try to think if there is anything your child will need in the months following Christmas and buy it now as a gift. As I see it you are going to have to buy it at some point in the near future. It also means there are more presents under the tree for your child to unwrap.
Save Where You Can
LED Christmas lights, homemade decorations, artificial Christmas trees which you can use year after year. Home made gift for teachers, second hand toy, sell old toys that you no longer use. The list of ways to save a little money are endless and every bit will help.
Christmas for us this year will be a lot smaller as I am sure it will be for a lot of families. However it doesn’t mean it won’t be just as special. Ours will include lots of family time together, playing with new toys and eating leftover Christmas food and I honestly can’t wait.