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Budget Friendly Christmas Gift Ideas
Christmas and the After Effects Financially
We should all remember the true meaning of Christmas and be thankful that we are able to spend that time with the people that we love and that it is the thought that counts...... not if you live in the real world where everyone expects something, including the boss that didn't give you an increase or the boss that has reminded you payment will be after Christmas and not before, the thank you gifts for those who don't even celebrate Christmas and the kids that expect to find celebrity gifts that you really cannot afford, under the tree.
Yes it is that time of the year again where you find yourself having to source money for the rent and food afterwards as the economical times that we live in doesn't allow for the money to stretch as far as it used to and for the next month or two you are set back a bit because of the exorbitant amount of money that you spent during the festive season!
So why do we put ourselves through all of that?
Well because it is Christmas, people are expecting it and it is the one time of the year where you get to go shopping, even if it is not for you but for those that will have a gigantic smile on their faces when you hand over the carefully thought out gift that you spent hours in the que waiting to buy, it is the time where you can feel good whilst shopping and because it is worth it.
Christmas to me is the best time of the year and it is not about presents but the thought of gathering with my entire family to share a day of laughter, joy and peace.
The decadent food and treats that allow us to go into a food coma and the secret recipes that are brought out after and entire year of waiting are all worth the hardships throughout the year when we join together with loved ones from near and far to forget about our troubles for just one day.
Christmas does not have to bankrupt you and you do not have to suffer for the next three months soaked in debt due to the shopping experience in the festive season.
Our money does not go as far as it used to and that is the reality so in order to pay the next months rent and get food for the entire family, you need to budget at Christmas because this is the reality and the times that we live in.
Here are a few ways to shop on a budget and still get something special for the entire family, friends and bosses, without having to starve for the next month.
Plan Your Christmas Lists
Last mintue shopping will get you into trouble because you have to wait in ques with all the other last minute shoppers who end up buying gifts that are way over budget as they are the last ones left in the store.
Planning your list is extremely important to avoid overspending and adding things in because you feel that you have not bought enough or you have forgotten what it is that you have already bought.
Get a list for each person and give yourself a limit to spend on each one.
With your Christmas lunch groceries, buying when there are specials is important and it will save you a few dollars if you buy only what is on the list....don't stray from the list and once you have bought all you need, then should there be a few extra dollars, you can then go back and buy the few extra's if you have the money to do it.
For each person you can carefully plan where you are going to shop and how much you have to spend on each person with calculations that match your bank account.
Be realistic and set aside money for the important things that need to be paid first and then divide the remainder of your money into what you need to buy for the lunch and the gifts.
What is your favourite part of Christmas
Cheap Stocking Fillers
The stocking fillers are not as important as the gift and this is just to buy parents some time to sleep in when the kids wake up at the crack of dawn with something to keep them occupied.
Great gifts for the stocking can be found at the pound, dollar and the China Mall where you will get little goodies for really good prices.
Sweets and chocolates are better bought in bulk packets and you can share these out among each kids stocking equally.
Little toys and gadgets can be found in these stores and they can fill up a stocking with very little spending. It is not about expensive things here but about the treats that kids can eat first thing in the morning....trust me that is all that they are interested in when they wake up.
For the adults you can add a deodorant, shaving cream, chocolate and a magazine or if you have the time, you can craft something personal; like a photo frame with your picture in it.
It is the thought that counts here and the stocking should be full but with cheaper goods inside.
Budget Christmas Gifts
Budget does not mean ugly and useless things that people can't use it just means that you need to plan out what you are going to spend on each one. Try to stick to your budget by being realistic and you will find that you will have money left over if you STICK TO THE BUDGET!
For clothing options unless someone has specified a certain brand of clothing, you can find items that are affordable and your money will stretch in some of the clothing stores. The quality is still just as good as it is in the expensive branded stores and you can buy two instead of one item.
If they have asked for a certain brand then ideally it would be a good idea to shop for these items way before the festive season when the sales are on but nobody does this and to avoid overspending you can look online; Ebay, Amazon and Kalahari have branded items and some of them are less 70% just before Christmas.
There are a number of items that you will find online for cheaper than the stores but you need to be careful with the shipping costs and the time that it takes to get to you as Christmas shipping might take a couple of weeks.
If it is underwear that you are looking for then find the factory shops as they have the exact same items for a little less than the stores as they are the suppliers.
Jewellery items can also be found cheaper in certain stores and you need to take the time to find out who is cheaper and where you can get a discount.
Don't be afraid to ask for a discount as some of the stores will give you 10% or even 20% if they are not department stores.
For kids toys find the shops that specialise in kids toys as they are cheaper than most of the other places you would rush into but do not be deceived by this as competitive pricing does allow for the other stores to have the items cheaper than the kids toy shops, so you need to shop around and the easiest way to do this is to look at the catalogues online before you go walking through each individual store.
Playstation games can get really expensive and a good way to buy these is to use your credit card at the online store where it is half the price and all it does is download the game directly to the playstation.
Gift hampers are a good idea for the boss and other friends; Buy some chocolates, biscuits, and a few food items with a Christmas decoration added to it, find a basket in the dollar shop and cover the hamper with cellophane which will look fantastic and won't cost you much.
Home made photo frames, crotchet tops and craft items can be a good gift that can be personalised to suit the person that you are giving it to. If you have the talents and the time then this is a great idea for a gift.
Earphones, mini drone, fitness tracker and many other items that you thought were expensive are really not if you take a look online as you will be surprised as to how many things you can buy without having to bankrupt yourself and max out the credit cards.
Carols by Candlelight
Visit Santa at the Mall
Glow in the Dark Santa
Money Saving Tips for Christmas Shopping
Buying perfume can be expensive and you can find the exact same smell without the fancy labels in stores online and in the shopping malls, all you have to do is find a great looking wrap and you have the exact match of your loved ones favourite perfume.
Have a look at Amazon and Ebay for their discount finder as they have many great gifts for half the price of the stores. With this you will need to plan ahead as shipping does take some time during the festive season.
If you really don't have the money for Christmas gifts then you should make a card with an IOU in it and buy your gifts after Christmas when the sales are on and everything is 50 to 70% off.
You can make a personalised ebook case
A vinyl wall clock
Romantic promise with a picnic in the park, candlelit dinner (she will love this idea)
Kids don't understand the value of gifts so with them it is quantity and not quality which you can find in cheap stores that have toys which can be placed under the tree to look plentiful.
You don't have to spend thousands at Christmas and let your family and friends know that your year has not been a great one so they should not expect fancy and expensive items.
Time is something that you can never get back and it is the best gift to receive from your loved ones, so make time for each other and put the spirit of Christmas back into your home. Don't buy guilt presents, instead, spend that time with family and your kids because this is something that we all value the most.
Hints for a Cheaper Christmas
You should take a look at websites that can search for discounts for you and they also compare prices in stores to show you the best deals.
Don't buy on credit because you will regret it later and if you cannot buy something with cash, then don't buy it!
Look at the options in the dollar stores as there are always some great gifts there but you do need to check them as they are sometimes damaged.
Amazon and Ebay have a search engine to compare the cheapest prices too and with grocery shopping for your turkey etc, remember that the cheaper one tastes just as good it is only the packaging that you are paying more for so go for the cheaper brand and nobody will notice any difference.
If you do feel the need to take your family out then find free things to do;
Visit Santa in the stores
Christmas carols by candlelight
Picnic in the park whilst looking at the Christmas lights
Take your kids for a walk
Watch some Christmas movies
Bake cookies and make things with them
Kids can help you handcraft items for family members gifts like cards, little santa dolls and you get the idea.