It is that time of the year: lit up streets filled with joy and festivity, warmhearted houses embellished with sparkling trees, and decorated tables full of succulent goodies. Yes! You guessed it right. It is Christmas! Celebration, Family Reunions, Feasts- no matter how you describe it, for many, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year.
However, with Christmas being a few weeks away, it can also be a source of financial anxiety and stress especially when it comes to meeting the unrealistic and numerous expectations of the Christmas gifts #festivestress
Therefore, your frugal girl here will walk you through how to create a joyous and Merry Christmas without ending up financially broke.
Be crafty - Whether you love baking or sewing, crafting a gift is a great way of putting your practical skills into action and expressing your creativity. A crafted gift symbolizes hard work and dedication to creating a masterpiece for our loved ones. We live in such a materialistic world where each one of us has rarely time to make homemade gifts. We find it so much easier to go down to any store, grab the first item we see, wrap it, and place it under the tree. However, people will value and appreciate more when they see someone investing time and sweat to make something that you cant find in the market, but rather be created with love and effort, and consequently will treasure these gifts forever.
Give personalized gifts- I LOVE giving and receiving personalized gifts. They are original, thoughtful, and sentimental. You can make anything personalized: jewelry, kitchen items, PJs, puzzles, and the endless millions of things out there. Personalized gifts represent exclusiveness and uniqueness. Think about the last time you received a personalized gift; what did you think? You most probably thought this person really put a lot of thought and a vast amount of time to get you the gift. It shows how much someone genuinely and truly cares for you to go really beyond and above to surprise you and give you the WOW factor.
My favorite personalized gift? Personalized Chocolate from Lindt!
Team up with your partner/family members to split the gift price- If you have numerous family members/friends to be gifting to this year and have a defined budget that you can't go over, then pair up with someone to contribute to the price of the gift. It is definitely a cost-effective way to save up and prior to purchasing anything, make sure that both sides agree on the gifts and how much each wants to chip in before ending up in some messy disputes!
Exploit all the cash rebates apps - Cash rebates websites are easy hacks to save up and make money. Since this year, I have been using Rakuten for online purchases and getting cash back while shopping online. A second one that I use a lot is Honey which is a free browser extension that once is set, it looks everywhere on the internet for coupons that you can apply to your Shopping Cart. It works perfectly with Amazon and other e-commerce sites. With Honey, you can also create price alters and it will tell you when your future-to-be item went down on price.
Start early and set up a Christmas saving fund- For next year, set up a separate saving account just for Christmas and put 50$ -100$ or whatever you can afford each week until you build enough cash for all your Christmas purchases. A common mistake that all of us do is buying Christmas gifts all at once and this can create a lot of financial and emotional stress. Start early, and shop all year long to take advantage of all the sales during the year. If you find something that could be a perfect gift for someone, buy it and leave it until it can be ready to be gifted for Christmas.
At the end of the day, it is the thought that counts; no matter what you are celebrating, creating memories with your loved ones, spending time with them, and saying how much you love them are the most heartfelt and rare gifts one can ever give to another.
"The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other."
— Burton Hills