Christmas: it’s finally here! Even if you’re not in debt, Christmas can make the average family budget run into the red; indeed we’ve seen figures recently that suggest some families are still paying off credit taken out to fund last year’s Christmas festivities.
We don’t want you taking out further debt and we also don’t want Christmas to be too sparse an affair. In this blogpost we’ve stuck our frugalista heads together, along with asking our friends on Facebook, and tried to come up with ways that can help you have a memorable Christmas without breaking the bank.
Christmas is a time for fun, especially if you’ve got the family coming round. Here are six quick ways to help throw a Christmas party without having to break the bank.
1. Bring a bottle!
If you’re inviting the relatives over it’s time for them to p(l)ay their part and help supply the winter warmer of their choice. Booze is one of the big expenses at Christmas and if relatives can help out with a tipple all the better. Remember to drink sensibly. After all you don’t want to be passed out before the Queen’s speech!
2. Banquet on the cheap
Last Christmas we wrote a blogpost about how to have a Christmas banquet on the cheap and it proved to be very popular; this year it’s even more relevant. Good food doesn’t have to cost the earth.
3. Give them their just desserts
If you’ve got kids at the party one way to keep them entertained and help your budget is to get them to bake their own dessert. Bun making kits are cheap and cheerful, they’ll keep the kids entertained and get them excited about making the dessert.
4. I’m board
You don’t need to buy games – you’ve probably got at least one board game somewhere in the house (probably the bottom of a cupboard or in the attic). For example Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit can be played by children and adults. Beware though, if your family is in any way like mine you’ll have at least one relative who cheats, leading to the traditional festive argument (best to get it out of the way early on).
5. Bring a treat
If your relatives are generous enough to bring a bottle (even if they intend to drink most of it themselves) maybe they’d be willing to throw in a treat too. Getting relatives to bring over extra food is a really good idea; especially if they have a specialty that they enjoy cooking (a festive Christmas pudding could be the gift that keeps giving all over Christmas).
A great way to organise a Christmas meal is to get everyone to contribute a course or a dish, this way there’s lots of food to go around and everyone shares the cost.
6. The real meaning of Christmas
Christmas is really a time to think of others so if you can, visit a relative or friend who is alone this Christmas. Even, better invite them to your party. You often don’t have to give much in the way of a present to make someone’s day. And good wishes don’t cost anything.
Merry Christmas from the MoneyAware Team!
Looking back over the writing of this blogpost we realised it wasn’t so much the presents or gifts we receive each Christmas that we remember. It’s often what went on during the day, the experiences, the laughs and the people we spent time with are what has made the best Christmas memories.
So don’t delay and don’t worry about money. The best thing you can spend this Christmas is your time with someone else.