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Christmas is nearly upon us once again, a time of fun and indulgence which can be nerve wracking for those of us on a tight budget. Relax and try some of these tips, provided by KIS Bridging Loans, to take the stress out of this festive season and go into the new year in financial happiness!
Plans to visit friends and family over Christmas are usually made in advance, if you’re taking the train then book tickets as soon as possible for best price. Look to see if prices vary during the day – rush hour prices on working days can be higher depending on where you live or where you are going.
Everyone has received gifts in the past that are unwanted, if you know of someone who would like them then simply re-wrap for Christmas! Just make sure you can remember who gave it to you to avoid embarrassment. If you have children, particularly if they had a birthday party this year, don’t forget about any presents they received that they didn’t want or were unsuitable.
Everyone likes treats to eat - Try biscuits (a gingerbread man cookie upside down can be iced to look like a reindeer!)
Save up jars to use as packaging for homemade jam or make your own bath salts with sea salt and a few drops of essential oil.
Peppermint cream sweets need only a few ingredients to make and can be dipped in melted chocolate – you could make some to have after Christmas dinner.
If you have young children, use their broken crayons to make jumbo marble crayons as a stocking filler. You will need a silicon baking tray – have a look on youtube to see how easy this is to do.
These are just a few ideas, take a look on pinterest and youtube to see what else you could make.
Not as exciting to wrap – but how annoying is it to see things you have brought at full price reduced in the sale after Christmas? If you would like to buy for someone and you know their favourite shop – get them a voucher instead to pick their own gift and hopefully they will get more in the sales.
If you do want to be able to give a gift on the day and not a voucher – pluck up the courage and ask the shop assistant for a discount! Some shops do allow their staff to permit discounts up to a limit of usually no more than 10 per cent.
This idea was with posh cosmetic brands in mind, but same principle could be true for other types of brands. For example, Molton Brown do an advent calendar priced at £150 that is worth £192 and most other brands work out better value if you buy a lot of it. Open one of these gift sets up and with the help of some cellophane and ribbon, you can create your own smaller gift sets.
Don’t buy anything without checking online first to see if it is cheaper somewhere else. If a store price matches like Toys r Us – you can take the item to the customer services desk in store and show them the item for sale cheaper online on your mobile phone. If the item is in stock at the lower price, they will sell the product to you at that cheaper cost. Toys are usually cheaper from amazon or another internet retailer and shopping in this way can save you the postage.
If you know you will not see someone until after Christmas, buy their gift in the sales.
Write your Christmas cards now and post them early so you can use second class stamps. Or better still, save a bit of money and help a charity by announcing that you won’t be sending cards this year but will donate some money to a charity that is important to you instead. Maybe you could put it on facebook to avoid offending anyone that has sent you a card so they don’t wonder why you didn’t send them one. By reminding your social networking circle of the true values of Christmas you may even inspire others to do the same.
…you’ll never need to buy another again! Excellent solution for anyone who dreads venturing into the dusty dark attic, as it can live in the garden the rest of the year! Save money on buying decorations by looking online at what you could make. If possible, delegate decoration-making to younger family members (it won’t be long until they are bored during their time off school) and don’t forget to use glitter!