Holidays are one of the hardest time to have financial issues. That doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the merriment! There are cheaper and easier ways to spread cheer to your loved ones while sticking to a reasonable budget. With a little out-of-the-box thinking and these budget tips, you can rescue your holidays from the credit card blues!
Firstly, decide upon a budget with your family’s needs in mind. Cut out unnecessary costs, especially the luxury ones. Instead of going out for dinner, make hearty homemade meals. Why go to an Italian-style chain restaurant when you can look up recipes that are not only more interesting, but also more authentic and less costly? If you’re the one who’s in control of the holiday cookies, then you also have the power to make them with less sugar and more whole grains, nutrition, and taste. Almost any recipe can be modified into a cheaper and healthier version by replacing the ingredients with inexpensive alternatives.
Also, your tree doesn’t have to be a decadent light display or weighed down by glass and gold. Consider going DIY and giving your holiday a personal touch by making your own ornaments. Hooks are the only item that you need, but you can fashion extra paper clips or safety pins into hooks as well. This is an especially awesome option for those of us with children in our lives. Just browse the internet for some craft ideas and find the best buys at your local craft store. (Discounts are more likely during the holidays.) Honestly, my most treasured ornaments are the ones that I remember making myself. While store-bought ornaments come and go, the glass ball with my name on it and hooked figurines will always remain dear to me because I remember making them. If you’re creative enough, Christmas tree ornaments can also make excellent and inexpensive gifts.
Keep Your Budget
Alternatively, you can turn your holiday into a light show if you have a fireplace. Yule logs are older than Christmas trees and cozying up around fires is one of humanity’s favorite pastimes. There are products that you can throw onto the fire to make the flames change colors. You can also do the same with household products that are available in supermarkets, convenient stores, hardware stores, and many other places you might bypass throughout the day. If you have young ones, please make sure that you’re the one handling the materials, all of which you should research to make sure that they are safe.
Christmas is about joy, not money. In our materialistic culture, we often forget that. A former co-worker told me that, because money was tight, she decided to decorate their tree with ribbons and bows. Upon hearing that her children thought it was the prettiest tree that they ever had, she succeeded in teaching her kids that money isn’t necessary to enjoy the holidays. You, too, can celebrate the holidays while saving money and spreading cheer in the cheapest ways.
Photo Credit: istockphoto.com