How to have a budget Christmas

If ever there was a year to have a budget Christmas, this is it. Have you spent the last few Christmas’s spending a small fortune on expensive Santa experiences, garden centre visits, photoshoots, advent calendars, matching PJ’s, Christmas Eve gift boxes, and goodness knows what else?

It is very easy to get caught up in the hype of organising the ‘perfect’ Christmas. Does this resonate with you? I know it does with me. Jam-packed December diaries, empty bank accounts, and stress are all heavy features of Christmas past for me. Not this year, not in 2020.

Some say that 2020 has been awful so therefore Christmas must be magical, it must be the best Christmas. That’s fine but no amount of money spent is going to make 2020 disappear.

My message to you is that whether you spend a little or a lot make sure it is for a Christmas that works with your budget.

Top Tips for a Budget Christmas

If you have already decided that this Christmas will be on a reduced budget but might not know where to start, here are some of my top tips:

  1. decide how much you can afford to spend on Christmas – be honest with yourself and include everything, not just gifts but all of the food and extra bits and bobs you like to buy. Try not to use your credit card.
  2. divide the budget up so you can prioritise your spending – allocate a portion to gifts, food and other items.
  3. cut down on unnecessary gifts – now is the time to make a pact with others to reduce the number of unnecessary gifts. Give your friends, family, and neighbours the gift of freeing them from the obligation to buy you a gift in return. This cause is championed by Martin Lewis but it makes so much sense.
  4. cut down on seasonal clothing – we all know that matching PJ’s, jumpers, and party clothing are all cute in photos but they cost a fortune. If you are struggling with your Christmas budget this year, this is somewhere where you can reduce your spending easily. My kids are wearing their Christmas outfits from last year. Yes some of them look a little short but for one day, who cares? That’s right, nobody.
  5. cut down on extra meal courses and sides – do your waistline and budget a favour and serve less expensive food.
  6. shop at online discount stores – there is no doubt that 2020 has had some benefits. Many of my favourite discount shops have now gone online. You will be surprised what brand name toys and gifts you can fine in these shops.

So with all of that in mind I am going to get back on our Christmas shopping challenge. This basically translates to me telling you what bargains I have found for my kids for Christmas.

I am also going to follow our gift buying plan. I used this last year for the first time and it helped to reduce the amount of cash which left my purse and it helped to reduce the amount of stuff which the kids then had to deal with. Why is that last bit really important? It reduces the overwhelm and means they will play more, they will find tidying up easier and you will have an easier life. Everyone is a winner.

If you haven’t seen the plan you can download it here.

So today is Day Three of the shopping challenge to reduce the stuff for your kids at Christmas. If you missed all of the action from Day Two you can find it here.

I have three children: an 8-year-old boy and nearly 4-year-old twins girls so I will be shopping for all three of them on the same day.

1. Christmas on a Budget: Reflections on Day Two

How did you get on with your day two shopping mission? The category for day two is something to wear. I covered off a few categories and bought my kids some PJ’s (which they really needed) from a fellow twin mum at Hummingbird by Victoria.

So that is the something to wear, something they need and something handmade/independent all covered.

2. The middle size/Santa gift

Please remember that everyone’s budget will be different, and I am deliberately trying to buy my kids gifts they will use which won’t cost me a fortune.

My girls are obsessed with slime. Not just a little bit but a LOT. The middle size present I bought a frozen slime kit from Home Bargains for £5.99 each. It ticks the boxes: it is on budget, in line with their interests, and I know they will LOVE IT.

The Santa gift, that is the thing they really really wanted, I finally found some pink V Tech cameras on offer on Amazon.

I found a pack of construction vehicles from TK Maxx for my son. I know that he will love them because they fit with his interests (well obsession really) and they will be well used on his ‘farm’.

The big deal gift for him is still under review but I am heading towards a weather station. I am trying to get something to suit what he is interested in but keep away from technology at the same time.

I hope that has given you some ideas on what you can buy your kids for Christmas. Looking forward to the next category which is the eBay/Charity shop bargain.

If you are looking for other budget ideas this Christmas, have a look at our Christmas on a Budget Guide.