As Christmas fast approaches, our little ones are starting to get excited ahead of the festive season! But with the cost of living crisis, parents are facing financial worries, with 3 in 5 parents reported to be cutting back on spending this year. To keep the festive spirit high and the costs low this time of year, here are our tips to delivering a memorable Christmas whilst staying money savvy.
Create a Festive Budget
Before the holiday season is in full swing, sit down and decide exactly how much you can afford to spend on Christmas this year. Stick to your budget to avoid overspending and potential post-holiday debt. If you’re doing a lot of in-person shopping, you could try the new TikTok trend of cash stuffing. This is where you withdraw money from the bank and allocate money in a wallet, dividing up your money for each area of Christmas (be it food, each child’s gifts or travel). If you plan on shopping mostly online, Monzo pots are another effective way to keeping on top of much you’re spending.
Follow the Want, Need, Wear, Read method
As simple as it sounds, this is a gifting concept that limits the gift giving this year to four per child – they’re bound to get enough presents from other family members! By bringing your little one into the decision making process (if they’re old enough!) it teaches them a more considered approach to receiving presents whilst keeping the costs low. If you want to build upon the method, you could also add ‘something to do’ (i.e. go bowling) and something for the family (i.e. a boardgame to play together!).
Have a clear out
Ahead of doing any gift shopping, have a clear out of your little ones toys and clothes that aren’t being used. Vinted and Facebook Marketplace are great for selling without any fees, meaning you’ll get to keep all the profits to put towards Christmas costs! You could even organise a ‘swap day’ with other parents to exchange toys and clothes, giving your items a new home and receiving something in return without spending money that could be a gift for your little one.
Our little ones aren’t fussed if their presents are brand new or not, as long as they have something to unwrap. Scour the charity shops, local Facebook groups, and Vinted with a Christmas list in hand – you’ll often find lots you can find in a brand new or barely used condition! If your child is at an age where technology is at the top of their list, consider shopping for a refurbished item – like on backmarket.com
Embrace what Christmas is really about
Experiencing the magic of Christmas doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag. Get creative and plan activities to celebrate the festive joy and family time whilst keeping costs down. As a starter, you could go for a drive round the local area to see Christmas lights, collect local nature to make homemade wreaths, volunteer as a family at a local charity, or send a text to Santa.
Opt for Secret Santa
If you have a bustling extended family or a group of friends with lots of kids, suggest a Secret Santa gift exchange to limit how many presents you need to buy. Collectively decide on a spending limit that is suitable for everyone involved, then each person draws a name from the hat (or an app if you’re feeling tech-savvy). This ensures everyone gets a gift without putting any financial pressure on each other, and also makes for more thoughtful gift giving!
Save money online
If you’re doing your shopping online, top cashback sites like TopCashBack.co.uk can be a godsend. Popular online retailers like Amazon, Argos, ASOS & more offer cash back ranging from 5% up to 20%, so know you’re making big savings whilst checking off your little one’s Christmas list. Another great saving tip is to install the Honey extension to your browser, which automatically adds discount codes to your shopping basket.
In the end, the spirit of Christmas is about connection, not consumption. By being resourceful and planning carefully, you can ensure that the holiday season is filled with joy, not financial worry.