From the archives
November 30, 2020 • Sticky Post
Christmas on a budget – how to have a frugal Christmas without being a grinch (and is it okay to re-gift)?
While I’m still up in the air as to whether 2020 feels like the longest year on record or the shortest – nonetheless it’s less than a month until Christmas!
After a tough year that is definitely the most surreal on record, the thought of getting stuck into the Christmas spirit with gusto brings some much needed joy. But blowing the budget, or getting into debt (when many of us have done it tough financially throughout 2020 as it is), is the last thing we need.
So here’s a some of my favourite ideas to help you have a super duper Christmas without breaking the bank.
Set a budget: it’s so important to work out how much money you can afford to spend (and yow much money you even want to spend) so you have something to stick to. Otherwise it can quite the eyewatering surprise when you get that credit card bill or bank statement and realize what an extra purchase here and there has done to your bank account.
With online shopping so readily available now it’s easier than ever to find the right option – even if you go in store to purchase (plus you can avoid postage), just being able to find the gifts you want to buy and make sure they’re a price you can afford is such a huge start. That way you can go to the shops armed with a list of only the items you’re after and can make sure that you don’t stay from it
Secret Santa – especially helpful if you have a large family or circle of friends that you always feel obligated to but presents for. It’s a great wat to ensure you’re not having to fork out for dozens of presents for the whole group, and its less wasteful too. You can even draw names virtually if you’re not able to get together in the one place (thanks COVID).
Give something that doesn’t involve money – think along the lines of what you can do with your time or your talents to help out others. Give a booklet of babysitting vouchers (where you’re the sitter – obviously), or you could set up a schedule to mow your grandparent’s lawn every week? Things that people often really need but would never dream of asking for so as not to be an inconvenience can often be far more valuable than a jar of scorched almonds and a pair of novelty socks.
Get crafty – Handy with a needle and thread, paint brush or wooden spoon? There’s a plethora of lovely, personalized gifts that you can spin up and spend down as a result. Think a box of yummy home made fudge, personalizing items of clothing or beach towels etc, tie dying cloths for the kids always seems to be a winner, you might even be able to surprise yourself with some simple but eye catching artwork – all that can be done very inexpensively.
Let’s set the record straight – is re-gifting totally dodgy?
Personally I’m all for it – what’s someone’s trash is another man’s treasure after all. There are a few critical “buts” though:
I think it’s important to make sure that you’re not just giving someone some random present just so that you can give them something whilst also clearing out space in your cupboard. That’s just total cheapskate and not being a good friend at all! However if you have been given something that isn’t quite for you and someone else would genuinely like it – then what’s to lose. For instance I’m not a tea drinker, yet have been given a few gorgeous T2 tea sets that are just collecting dust. So it’s the sort of thing that is perfect to re-gift with some shortbread biscuits or choccies to my tea swigging bestie.
Also, an important trick (and where it can really backfire) is that you ‘ve got to make sure you’re not re gifting to the person who gave it to you, or ideally no one in their close circle.
We’d love to know what you’re doing this Christmas – so share your spending hacks and tips with us!
Hope you have a great XMAS!
Carla & the Longevity crew
P.S. If you’re looking for some wrapping tips, check out this article from the woman who has wrapped over 60,000 gifts!