Friday, 11 December 2015

Christmas on a Budget

OMG, Christmas is two weeks today. I AM SO EXCITED, but I also don't want it to be over. Does anyone else feel the same? Those January blues suck man. 

Today's post is all about budgeting at Christmas as it's something I really need help with. I tend to overspend... A lot. BUT do not fear, you don't have to be like me (a nightmare with money) and can actually get some amazing gifts or decorations for affordable prices.

Sales shopping
We all love a bargain, let's be real. So why not buy gifts for bargain prices too?! Personally, I prefer online sales as pretty much every website now has a permanent sales section which are usually full of knitwear. Hint hint, everyone loves receiving a snuggly jumper as a present!
Now I know Black Friday has been and gone but it's something to bear in mind for next year. I got a few presents (some were for myself, yes) for really great prices, thank you Amazon. 

If you're super organised, you can even hunt for presents for next year in the Boxing Day sales, all you have to do is remember where you've put them or you know, actually remember that you've already bought them altogether.

Tip: Christmas cards and decorations are all mega cheap in the after Christmas sales!

Plan, plan, plan
Planning is something that I did quite a lot of before I started my Christmas shopping this year, go me! I worked out the money I would had to spend and started pricing up gifts that I had my eye on for others to keep me from going off track. To be fair, I have stuck to it pretty much... I just took advantage of a few discounted items here and there that I couldn't resist. You know how it is. 

Another tip: Before going mad buying, check out offers in store and online, e.g. Boots and Debenhams 3 for 2. Lifesavers. 

Make your own decorations
Not only is making adorable lil' decorations super fun, it can also be cheap too! You can make anything from baubles to garlands to table decorations. It's also something fun to do as a group activity or to get the kids involved in Christmas. I know when I was in primary school, my favourite days were revolved around the festive craft lessons. 
Pinterest is a fab place to find some exciting DIYs but here are a few posts by fellow bloggers in case you're stuck for inspiration.

Eleanor's Table Place Names
Shona's Christmas Cards
Katie's Christmas Bookmarks
Hannah's Upcycled Photo Frame

Tasty, little home-made treats make the cutest stocking fillers. I mean if I opened my stocking on Christmas day and found a little box of home-made cookies you'd certainly hear no complaints. Baked goods are again, fun to make and also extremely satisfying for the person who will be eating them - a win, win situation I'd say!
Ingredients are quite inexpensive as once you have them, they last forever. All you really need is a box or bags and some adorable ribbon to decorate with to present the goodies in.

My Christmas Pudding Cupcakes
Hazel's Orange and Cranberry Mince Pies
Georgina's Peppermint Candy Cane Cookies

There we have it, a few suggestions from me to you on how to save money at Christmas. I hope this was somewhat useful. What are your tips for budgeting at Christmas?

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  1. I love this.. I think in the blogging world, we often forget that buying £50 mascara for everyone isn't actually that practical for most of us! I started my shopping in November and tried to buy something each week so that I didn't notice the cost.. it's a little bit easier that way :) xx

    Sam // Samantha Betteridge

    1. I totally agree, I splurge on like one gift but then the rest of mine this year have been bought on deals etc.
      I started my shopping mega too, it's much less stressful. I like the way you did it though, that'll be easier to keep on top of what you've got who! xx

  2. I didn't do well on budgeting this year, but for next year I'm definitely going to start putting money away earlier! Possibly even trying to buy presents earlier...
    These are good tips though, and I'm sure a lot of people would love a home-made gift! I'm planning on making some peppermint bark to leave at each place on the table - just a little something extra for the day!
    Thanks for linking me (:

    Katie | Life of Kitty

    1. That's a great idea, I really would recommend starting to Christmas shop end of October then into November.
      Peppermint bark sounds delicious and a lovely idea! x

  3. I love the plan plan plan idea. I am a total sucker for planning meticulously! Throughout the year I make notes of what people have shown interest in so by the time it gets to December I've got a loada stuff I can chose from. I might just be a little bit of a maniac though because even writing this I can appreciate I sound like a psychotic Christmasser.

    Gonna be trying those recipes too. Mmmmmhmmmm.


    1. Omg I'm the exact same. I don't write it down but I make mental notes and I'm like *do NOT buy that until Christmas* haha! xx

  4. Planning and list making is the key to Christmas. I buy loads of gifts in the sales it just makes so much sense. I really want to make some of my own Christmas decorations. =^-^=

    Sam | Momentarily Dreaming

  5. Planning my budget is my lifesaver every single month. I don´t know how else I´d be able to pay for everything. Living on your own is quite expensive! Stupidly, I always go over my budget on Christmas gifts (e.g. this year I spent £30 more on my sister´s gift than I was supposed to). I´ll keep an eye out for the black friday sales next year for sure!!
    xx Lisa | Following Lisa

    1. I can imagine that must be so stressful. Definitely check out Black Friday sales in future! x

  6. Oh I can't believe Christmas is only two weeks away, woahhh! This post is definitely helpful! Superdrug always do sales on their Christmas gifts, in fact, they have right now! xx

    Jasmine ||

    1. It's so soon!! I've never actually looked at Superdrug for presents, I'll bear them in mind in future. xx

  7. Such a great post! I absolutely love making DIY gifts so much .. I think they are such a cute idea! How is it only 2 weeks til Christmas?! Loving your blogmas posts so much !

    1. Gifts always seem so much more special if they're home-made! xx

  8. Great post, so many interesting posts. x

  9. We always buy are Christmas cards from card factory and the beauty stuff from Boots a year early because the sales are so good! Great Tips as always Kat! Loved how you linked other bloggers posts in as well x

    1. Card Factory is a lifesaving shop for cards and gift bags etc, I love it! x

  10. I didn't plan at all this year and regret it so much. I'm so poor ha. It makes such a difference planning in advance and buying in sales xx

    Tamz ||

    1. I haven't in past years and it was a total nightmare haha! It really does make a difference doing that. xx

  11. I love this post! I tend to overspend a lot during Christmas, but I just can't resist to anything Christmas T.T I think maybe you would like to know that after Black Friday, comes Cyber Monday and you can get great deals online you!

    I love baking and DIYS so I really have to check out those links!

    Be | lovefrombe

  12. I love to make presents for people, especially when I'm on a bit of a budget! Baking is always a great idea. It's always good to start shopping nice and early too to get the sales! x

    Jasmin Charlotte

  13. These are all really smashing tips for bringing holiday cheer on a budget. It's always so overwhelming to set a budget and try to stick to it during the holiday season (sales are so helpful and yet dangerous at the same time considering I often find things I want on sale too...)!

    Ashley || Sed Bona

  14. Really amazing tips, sweetie. I completely agree on planning ahead and get some sales shopping done. We actually bought a good bit of our decor bits and bobs last year in January and got to open them up this December woohoo :)
    Thanks for all the lovely suggestions & links, sweetie!
    I'm like you, wish Christmas lasted longer!!
    xox Nadia

  15. Such a great post!! I'll 100% be coming back next year, those student budgets dont look fun at all Xxx

  16. Great tips, I love making my own Christmas decorations - in fact, I posted my DIY Christmas Wreath on my Instagram today. It adds a personal touch as well as being so much cheaper!

  17. Great post hun! Really enjoyed reading it. I wondered where all the recent views on my DIY frame had come from ;) thank you for the mention <3 the other links are also fab.

    Love Hannah xx

  18. great post! For me its the thought behind the gift that counts and not the actual price value of it. Also DIY candles are fun gift options. I made some for my friends this year .. hope they like it :)

    The Chicster Diaries


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