Christmas on a Budget
21st January 2021
Christmas may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be incredibly expensive. Research has revealed that the average adult spends around £750-£1,500 per year on Christmas, but it is possible to do Christmas on a budget.
In this guide, we’ll provide you with advice on how you can buy Christmas gifts on a budget and how you can create a cheap Christmas dinner that’s just as tasty as the high-cost alternative.
The True Cost of Christmas
According to research revealed in The Independent, we spend an average of £54,000 on Christmas over the course of our lifetimes, with 1 in 3 people relying on a credit card to cover this expense.
The average household spends £174 on food and drink for Christmas Day. At Sainsbury’s in 2015, £5,000 was spent every minute on sparkling wine on December 23rd alone, with over £1m spent on gin on the same day. Overall, it’s estimated that each adult will spend £45 on their own beers, wines and spirits to drink at home over the festive period – that’s before accounting for any trips to the pub!
Of course, the majority of our money is spent on festive gifts. Parents, on average, spend £71 on each child’s stocking, with this figure peaking when children reach the age of 15, with an average of £119 spent per child.
All of this seems a little frivolous, particularly when we consider that £355m worth of presents are returned in the week after Christmas. So, how can we cut down on this indulgence and do Christmas on a budget?
How to Do Christmas on a Budget
Doing Christmas on a budget doesn’t mean that your Christmas will be any less perfect; especially if you follow our festive tips.
- Christmas dinner ideas:
If you’d still like to eat a traditional Christmas dinner with turkey, then consider dropping your least favourite trimmings to save some cash, or why not forgo a starter or pudding?
There are also a number of other tips for making your Christmas dinner on a budget, if you’d still like all three courses but would like to spend a fraction of the money.
A roast turkey with all the trimmings may be the typical Christmas dinner, but there’s no reason why it needs to be yours. If you’re not that bothered about turkey, then why not consider an alternative Christmas dinner recipe? You may even find a new family favourite for a fraction of the price.
- Christmas gifts on a budget:
Get the present you want for less by finding the best possible deal. Black Friday may have been and gone, but from now until Christmas, we’re likely to see a great number of deals both online and on the high street.
Do your research before you buy any of your presents and shop around for the best possible price. If your chosen present isn’t in the sale, then be prepared to wait. You can also look for discount codes for your favourite retailers online to help reduce prices further.
You should also remember that it’s the thought that counts and just because one present is more expensive than another does not mean that it’s better. A present based on an off-the-cuff comment, or a silly present that raises a smile could be more valuable in the long run than an expensive gift that lives in a drawer. If you know the person well, then they’re more likely to appreciate the thought than the financial expense.
A well decorated house can be the best way of getting into the Christmas spirit. Of course, you can reuse decorations from previous years to cut costs, but you may need to refresh or upgrade your decorations. So, why not make your own?
Not only can making your own Christmas decorations help you save money, but it can also be a great way to spend time with your family. If you have small children especially, they’ll love the Christmas joy of creating their own decorations. They could also help you make festive cards to give to friends and family, further helping save you the expense of buying them, all while providing a special personal touch.
Remember that saving money needn’t lessen your enjoyment of Christmas, and you’ll still have a magical day. However, if you can’t stand the thought of spending less, then one of our small loans may be able to help you cover any unexpected Christmas expenses.