Have you ever been in a situation where you weren’t in a position to buy anything to celebrate the holiday season? We know it’s hard to afford Christmas if you’re struggling with your finances. Though money isn’t everything, it does play a crucial role everywhere, every time and every season.
Not having enough money isn’t a joyful place to be. Whatever may have happened throughout the challenging year, you might feel joyous and sad. On one hand, you still have the money to meet needs after everything that happened in 2021 and, on the other hand, you might be a little worried that you can’t afford Christmas presents easily.
We have all been there. You are not alone. However, you don’t have to worry! Here are some ways to have a wonderful Christmas even when you are struggling with your finances.
Plan your Christmas finances
You can start planning with your partner and then discuss them with the kids. Depending on your budget, you can prepare for a memorable holiday with fewer expenses and more activities. Your kids will have a lot of extravagant expectations.
You can either teach them about the value of money or, if you feel it’s too early, you can plan fun activities that they wouldn’t feel bored at all. Financial experts, however, say that it’s good to teach kids about money to children as young as three years old. It might appear to be too early, but it’s better to have good money habits early in life for a better future.
Set aside the money
Though Christmas is just around the corner, it’s not too late to start budgeting. Ideally, you must create a holiday budget at the beginning of the year. We can do that for 2022. For now, first things first: Know how much you would need. Make a list of all the items you buy every year. It might be decorations, crafts, Christmas greeting cards and stamps, professional family photographs, special meals, travel, stationery items for packing, and family entertainment.
After making a list, rearrange them in order of priority. Since we have just started to budget, it’s unlikely that we can afford everything on the list. If you can afford everything, then it’s great. Otherwise, we must restrict our holiday spending to the first few items on the priority list. We can plan and budget from the start of 2022 to save more money and be in a position to afford everything on your wish list.
Always remember that you should not get into debt. This is the season where people will quickly get into a lot of debt. Indeed we’ll be tempted to spend more when we browse social media filled with extravagant Christmas celebrations. But the real joy is staying away from debt. Anything you spend on holiday using credit isn’t worth it. You will regret it in the long run. Instead, create a budget and start saving to buy the product by paying the total amount.
Start saving with Line
Cut down on all unnecessary expenses until Christmas shopping. Spend only on essentials. You can save some amount that can be used for holiday necessities by doing that with Line.
You get cashback when you shop online or in-person at certain merchants. You will also save on your total bill amount apart from the extra cashback. This is the season of saving as much as it is the season of spending. So, for every $10 you spend, save $1 with Line.
Apart from using these apps, you can save money by canceling subscriptions or not paying other fees for this month. You can try using Trim Financial Manager to review your spending and find out the expenses you can cut out. Billshark is another app that negotiates cable and cell phone bills for you.
Open an online savings account
Once you have saved some money, transfer it to an online savings account. These accounts are always better than traditional banks because they generally offer better interest rates without fees. The CIT Savings Builder Account offers high-interest rates than many other online banks.
Hustle your Christmas finances
The best way to increase your wealth is to decrease your spending and increase your income. Here are some opportunities for everyone:
You can sign up for free and start earning right away through these sites:
- Opinion Inn
- Vindale Research
- Survey Junkie
- Opinion Outpost
If you are a pet lover, this is for you! You get paid for doing what you love! There is nothing like getting paid for hanging out with pets. In fact, some make $1,000 or more each month! Make some cash this Christmas and better your finances.
Sell old stuff
There is no doubt that you would be having a lot of things you wouldn’t be using now. If you have such things that still work and are in good condition, you can sell them on Facebook. You can also try Decluttr to buy and sell tech products.
If you are going to host holiday dinners, you will surely have to spend a lot on groceries and meat. Here are some ways to save money on grocery shopping. Join store loyalty programs or become a member. Many grocery stores have several loyalty rewards programs or memberships. You will get exclusive benefits, discounts, and coupons by being part of the program.
Coupons, promotions and discounts
This is a great way to save a lot of money. In fact, some people save a lot of money every month by buying items from a store only if they have promotions or discounts. You will get the same item for a cheaper price. Don’t miss out on offers even if you must wait for some time or roam around the city to get each item.
Buy in bulk
Many outlets reduce the price when you buy in bulk. Look for such markets. However, you must think about the storage and usage before buying in bulk: will I have space in my freezer? Will it get expired before we use it? Think about these questions before going ahead to buying in bulk.
Potluck your Christmas finances
If you’re hosting dinner, you can consider going potluck this year. You will save a lot of time and money on your Christmas plans this way, especially when you’re struggling with finances. Moreover, you will have a fancier dinner with various dishes that would be impossible for you to make single-handedly.
You can consider making homemade gifts. These not only cost low but are have more value because of the time and effort you have put in. They are simply irreplaceable. These could be homemade cookies, greeting cards, photo albums, and scented candles. If your budget is tight, consider reducing the number of gifts this year. And instead of sending presents to everyone in the family, you can send one to each family.
The cost of stamps has become very high; thus, sending Christmas cards is really expensive. You can save a significant amount if you send e-greetings, e-letters, or e-cards this year.
You can save a lot of money if you are going to get decorations, gift bags and wrapping paper for the holidays. You can also get these items shipped for free using Dollar Tree. It will ship them to your local store and you can go pick them up. That’s one way of sorting out your Christmas finances when you’re struggling with money.
Talk to your kids
It’s not always easy to convince kids to stay within budget. But if you can involve them in some fun holiday activities, they might not keep adding items to their shopping list and help you better plan your Christmas when you’re struggling with finances. Here are some ways you can spend your money wisely this holiday season.
You can try out other fun activities besides gifts and meals. This can be visiting an exhibition, amusement park, and other unique Christmas events like tree lighting, Christmas parade, local church festivals, holiday craft fair. Moreover, you can invite your friends and family to have fun in your backyard. You can also volunteer as a family at local charities, churches, and other organizations to help those grieving during the joyful holiday season.
These organizations are always ready to help anyone who needs toys and clothes for kids, gifts for adults, food and assistance with other utility bills.