Money is tight and with the current economic situation, things are getting tighter. Christmas is just around the corner and many people are looking for ways to save money and get the most out of their Christmas dollar. There are a number of simple ways to save money and still celebrate Christmas.
Remember the forgotten expenses
Each year there are Christmas expenses that are left off the budget and forgotten until the last minute. Last minute items always cost more money because people are in a hurry to get them. Here are a few examples of forgotten items.
* Utilities increase
Christmas decorations usually make use of additional power and cost more in utilities. Normally these bills do not arrive until after Christmas but they can add up quickly. Be sure to turn off the Christmas lighting displays when not in use and save a little more on the electricity.
* Wrapping paper
Wrapping paper is another item that is often forgotten and sometimes until the last minute. Wrapping paper is one of the essentials for Christmas. The gifts need to have a great presentation to gain the maximum Christmas effect and appeal.
Each year there is something new that is needed for the annual decorating. There are new ornaments to purchase and lights that have to be replaced. These expenses may usually be small but add up quickly if not controlled.
Buy an artificial Christmas Tree
Instead of going out and searching for the perfect Christmas Tree to cut down, buy artificial. An artificial tree is safer with fire hazards and is more cost effective. An artificial tree can last for many years and will save the cost of buying a new tree each year. The cost may be higher the first year but having an artificial tree for ten years can save significant amounts of money.
Stop buying Christmas gifts on credit cards
Credit cards often cause more financial headaches after Christmas because spending has not been planned or controlled. There has been little thought given to how or when the credit cards will be paid. The end result is more expenses created with the payment of interest and finance charges.
Even if the stores offer a discount for buying items on the credit card, it is not worth it. The store will make more money by charging interest and late fees on that money than the discount offered. One way to get the discount and still be smart with money is to make the purchase on the credit card and then immediately make the payment before leaving the store.
Set spending limits
One major problem with holiday shopping is that many people never set any kind of limit and overspend on holiday shopping. Avoiding the problem of overspending is easier with a plan and a limit. Before going to the mall have a plan of what items will be purchased and what spending limits will be set. Going to the mall without a plan or a set limit is asking for shopping disaster. Knowing what to buy and how much to spend is crucial when shopping for the holidays.
Saving money does not have to be difficult during the Christmas season. Saving money takes time and effort but is usually well worth it. The extra money saved on Christmas can be used for other necessary things. Take some time and plan out the spending to stop wasting money during Christmas.