6 Practical Tips for a Debt Free Christmas

Christmas can be a very expensive time of year, and if you hope to make it through the holiday season without accumulating a huge debt you are going to need a plan. The following tips will help you save a small fortune this year.

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1. Give Gifts of Food

If you know how to cook, giving gifts of food is a great way to save money. Simply make up a huge batch of your best treats, wrap them in decorative containers and you’ll be the star of Christmas this year. Whether you make rum balls or gingerbread people, this is one time when you can get away with giving everyone the same gift. Food is also the perfect gift to give those friends or family members who seem to have everything already.

2. Make it a Potluck Feast

Hosting Christmas celebrations can be a lot of fun, but it can also get quite expensive. A smart way to host without it costing you a fortune is to make it a potluck feast this year. Ask each of your guests to bring a different element, such as a salad, main, desert or drinks. Be sure to keep track of who is bringing what as this way you will have everything covered rather than too much of any one thing. Apart from saving you money, making your feast a potluck will also mean your guests will get to enjoy more than just your culinary skills.

3. Do Secret Santa Style

Rather than buy gifts for everyone you know, follow a Secret Santa system for gift giving this year. Simply put everyone’s name in a hat and have each of your friends or family members pick a name at random; the idea is that the name you pick is the only person who you buy a gift for. Suggest a limit on how much people spend on their gifts and encourage everyone to maintain secrecy. The Secret Santa style is a fantastic way to make gift giving more fun as well as less expensive.

4. Hold a Pre-Christmas Fundraiser

Give your Christmas budget a boost by raising some extra money before the season kicks into high gear. Whether you hold a garage sale, sell Christmas cakes or auction off unwanted items online, fundraising pre-Christmas can be quite lucrative as most people are feeling more generous than normal.

5. Combine your Celebrations

Joining forces with extended family, neighbours or friends and holding one big Christmas celebration can be far less expensive than holding your own individual gatherings. Rather than everyone needing to buy their own tree, decorations, food and drink, just chip in and share, as it will often be a lot cheaper to buy in bulk and divide the cost between you.

6. Give ‘Favour’ Certificates

Make life easier for your loved ones this Christmas by presenting them with personalised favour certificates. Giving gifts such as a night of babysitting, one week of dog walking or even an afternoon of gardening is a wonderful way to give friends or family members truly unique and thoughtful gifts. While your gifts will cost you some of your time, they will save you plenty of money, and if you get creative with your certificates they are sure to wow those lucky recipients.

Christmas isn’t meant to be an exercise in debt accumulation; rather it is all about enjoying quality time with friends, family and loved ones. Make sure you stay focused on what’s really important this holiday season.