Wednesday, 7 December 2016

When You're Doing Christmas On A Tiny Budget.

when you're doing christmas on a tiny budget blogmas festive

Although gift giving is one of the most exciting aspects of Christmas time, it can also be one of most stressful aspects for so many people. Sadly, not everyone has the means to fork out hundreds of pounds worth of gifts for their loved ones - as much as they wish they could - and so it becomes necessary to rigorously plan ahead to ensure that you can still embrace the joy that is gift giving without having a menacing dark cloud of financial worries over your head.

Over the last number of years, I've found it rather difficult to gather up enough money to splurge on Christmas presents, so I've had to put a lot of things into perspective when it comes to my festive planning. That being said, it certainly doesn't have to make Christmas any less enjoyable. Here are a few of the things that I like to do to help me achieve a wonderful Christmas on a tiny budget.

Set a budget for each person

I personally do not find it realistic to say that I will set a budget of £20 (for example) for every person. If I'm being entirely honest, I will often spend more in some areas, and less in others. Although it may sound like some harsh form of favouritism, quite often, that's just the way it goes for many people. Whilst I might exchange bigger gifts with my other half, I might exchange some smaller gifts with friends. For me, it's more realistic to set a strict budget for each individual person. That way, I can know exactly how much I'm spending on everyone and can see ahead of time how much gifts are likely to cost me in total before making the splurge.

Not only does setting a strict budget for each person prevent me from overspending for the most part (something we're all a little bit guilty of during the festive season), but it helps to narrow down the right gifts to buy for the right person. Sticking to a budget certainly doesn't mean that your gifts have to be any less wonderful or special.

It's so important to take into consideration what other people can afford to do, too. There are so many people that feel an immense amount of unnecessary pressure to spend a ton of money at Christmas time, and truthfully, no one should be made to feel that way - be it your other half, your parents, your siblings, your friends or otherwise. So as well as taking your own financial situation into consideration, be sure to be mindful of your loved ones and what they can manage during the festive season too, and if you need to, agree on a budget together.

Buy only what somebody truly wants/needs

As mentioned before, it's all too easy to overspend when it comes to buying gifts. And when you're doing Christmas on a tiny budget, things can add up and become overwhelming very quickly. That's why I always like to make sure that I'm only buying things that I know somebody truly wants or needs. As much as I love buying cute gifts that I think someone might like (and don't get me wrong, I'll still do that from time to time) I quite often feel that the money could be better spent on something that that person really wants.

Every year my mother, sister and I send each other a list of 5-10 things that we really want, at all different price ranges, and we get to pick and choose what to buy for each other, making sure that it fits within our own budgets. That way we know we're buying each other things that we would really like to receive, aren't going over our budgets, but the gift is still a nice surprise all the same.

Set your expectations to one side

Many people have their perfect vision of Christmas, and quite often, it's a rather grandeur vision. One where you buy the most extravagant gifts (as well as receive them) and Christmas Day runs as perfectly as you imagined it. Unfortunately, a lot of the time, having wild expectations for Christmas is the root cause of all kinds of tensions during the festive season. Setting expectations sets you up for disappointment, as 99% of the time, nothing will play out like you imagined. And, if you're doing Christmas on a tiny budget, this will cause you all kinds of unnecessary stress and worry.

Keep in mind the most important thing, and that is that it's not what's under the tree, but who is around it that truly matters. There is absolutely no shame in doing Christmas on a tiny budget, because after all, material gifts are certainly not the most important aspect of such a magical time of the year. Whether you're doing Christmas on a tiny budget or a huge budget, embrace it for what it is, and keep in mind that there are so many people who may not be in such a fortunate position.

What are your top tips for when you're doing Christmas on a tiny budget?

Katy Belle.
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