Last updated: 04 Nov 2017

For a Christmas that Doesn't Leave You Feeling Broke

The season of tinsel, mistletoe and good cheer is nearly upon us. Well, the associated wish-list making, card swiping and gift wrapping certainly is. Funny isn’t it, how we always go overboard with our holiday season expenditure, year after year? It’s probably one of the few things we remain consistent at!

However, Christmas and spending needn’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. There are several ways to have fun without an unpleasant credit card bill to kick-start the New Year. In case you haven’t started your Christmas shopping already, here’s a ready reference of simple measures you can take to avoid making a deep cut into your savings. You might even have enough left over for a kitchen makeover next year!


1. Fix a per person budget

Make an exhaustive list of everyone you have to buy for, along with the amount you expect to pay for each one. This may sound like throwing a wet blanket over the Yuletide spirit, but it’s a sure-shot way to keep your spending in check. More often than not, it is the gesture that counts, rather than the content of the gift itself. By setting your budget before you hit the stores, you can also save on some of the time you’d ordinarily spend deep diving into an ocean of gifting options.

2. Invoke a 24 hour window before you seal the deal

This is particularly helpful when an item seems to be overshooting your budget, or when a harmless little thing presents itself in the garb of a great deal. By not buying it immediately, you’ll be able to sleep over the thought of an unplanned purchase, and the morning might not paint it in so many shades of attractive anymore.

3. Temporarily hide your credit card

Seriously. Stow it away somewhere. Pay for your purchases in cash, or bring out that forgotten piece of plastic called a debit card. Most of the time, the fact that you have the option of dealing with your bills later is all it takes to turn you into a compulsive (and impulsive) spendthrift.

4. Go handmade

This could include anything, from home cooked food to creative gifts put together with love in your own living room. The best thing about going for handmade gifts (yes, even over and above their being inexpensive), is that there are few standards of quality or workmanship, allowing you to feel free, have fun, and share some love. Isn’t that what this season is about?  

5. Opt for experiences over commodities

Give your loved ones a call and plan an outing together. Try a pot luck picnic at your favorite place. Pool in money and take a trip to someplace beautiful. There is a whole world of unique and wonderful things you can do at a fraction of the budget each one of you have set aside for individual gifts. And you’re guaranteed to have a more enjoyable and memorable Christmas this way.

There’s still some time left before Christmas frenzy takes over the town. Plan and make your purchases now, and be on top of things when the sleigh bells begin to jingle!

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