Limit the Gift Giving
Probably the biggest expense on everyone’s list is buying gifts for family and friends, I know it’s ours. What we have done over the last few years is to reduce the people we give gifts to just the bare minimum (immediate family and kids). We used to give to a wide ranges of friends and co-workers as well, but it just wasn’t sustainable and so we ended up talking to everyone and asking if they cared if we stopped doing the whole gift giving thing. Most people were really good about it and were suffering with budget blowout like we were.
Instead of stopping the gift giving, consider things like a secret santa. this reduces the overall cost of Christmas substantially, but still enables you to share in the joy of giving.
Get Everyone to Bring Food
If you are planning on hosting the Christmas festivities food can be a major expense. Depending on how many people are turning up, it can really get out of hand quite quickly. Something my family does when we get together is that everyone brings a plate of food so that the host isn’t too badly out of pocket. We also try to share the hosting duties around each year so that everyone isn’t forced to host year after year.
Cut the Booze
I’m guilty of sometimes having a bit too much to drink on Christmas day and it is an expense that I could easily avoid. Beer, wine and spirits aren’t cheap to buy and drink, particularly compared to water. So if you are trying to squeeze that little bit of extra savings cutting the booze might be the answer, but only if you are able to handle your relatives – I kid, I kid.
Have you got any tips to share?