This season is probably the one your bank account is dreading the most. Money just flows out and you don’t know where it goes; presents, Christmas parties, festive get-togethers involving food and alcohol, nice outfits for your 12 different parties and finally groceries. There is a lot and yes it is nice and important to enjoy this month but there are some little things you can do to keep track of your budget and stick to it.
Make A Budget
This one might sound really basic and silly but to get started, you need to know how much you want and can spend this month. Have a look at your bank account and estimate the price of each present accordingly. Make a list of the people you want to buy something for and then figure out the amount you are going to spend on each head. Then make a list of the other things you are going to spend money on, clothes, food, alcohol, decoration, travel … . You should end up with a pretty accurate sum, then you just have to try and more or less stick to it. If the numbers are getting bigger and bigger, think about where you could spend a bit less.
Try To Save On Presents
If you are a bit short this year, a good thing to do is to save on presents without buying cheap and useless things. A good way to do this is to do Secret Santa with friends and family. It is an amazing, fun idea and you only have to buy one present which allows you to spend a bit more to buy a really nice thing and really think it through. It is also a lot more exciting as you don’t know who your secret Santa is.
Another way to save is to gift handmade presents. It is often cheaper and more appreciated than the bought stuff. You can make a photo album, baking mixes, homemade granola, just get creative and have fun.
It is the time of the year where I could spend so much money on fancy festive clothes. There are honestly so many amazing things in store right now and I wish I could buy everything. If you have a lot of Christmas parties to attend but still want to stick to a budget, try not to buy a different dress for each party. Stick to one outfit, nobody will notice if you are going to wear it more than once, to be honest I am sure that after all the alcohol flowing at the parties nobody will remember your outfit. I am sure that you still have amazing things from the previous years that are still looking new. This is not only going to help you to save some pennies but let’s think sustainability too. Think about how the money you save by only buying one outfit can be spent in way better ways.
Stay At Home
Don’t worry, I am not saying to stay at home alone eating popcorn on your sofa watching a Christmas movie. Try to host Christmas parties at your place or at your friend’s houses. You will save a lot of money and probably have a better time too. Try to make your friends bring the wine and you take care of the food. The hangover will be a bit more subtle and you won’t spend as much as you would in a bar or restaurant.
Track Your Spending
You want to keep track of your spending throughout the month. See if you are still sticking to your budget or not and if you are not, think about where you can safe without making to many sacrifices. If you have a Monzo card, you can easily keep track of your money and it is even fun to do so. You see exactly how much you spend on everything and can set the amount you want to spend.
Last but not least, have fun and enjoy this festive month, sure it is important to keep track of your money but don’t worry too much about it. If you just make little tweaks and have your budget set up at the start of the season, you shouldn’t have to worry too much. If you exceed your budget a little bit; January is usually a month where you set good intentions and spend less so no worries. The most important thing is to have a good time that you will remember, it is the last month of the year, make the most of it!