The festive season is supposed to be the time of year where you can indulge in great food, spend quality time with your loved ones, and share gifts. While Christmas is usually full of joy and happiness, the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we live our day to day lives for the foreseeable.
With the government implementing national and local lockdowns, millions of people have had their hours cut at work or have been made redundant. If you fall into either of these categories, you may be left worrying about how you’re going to afford Christmas this year. To help, here is a guide on how to afford Christmas during the coronavirus pandemic.
Create a Budget
Before you start buying Christmas decorations, presents, and food for the big day, you must have a budget in place that you can stick to. Many people make the mistake of overspending in the festive season, which ploughs millions of people into debt. Monitoring your income and outgoings will help you create a realistic budget that you can work with. If you aren’t sure where to begin, you can download a budgeting app that will do the hard work for you.
Make a Shopping List
Whether you have lots of people to buy for this year, or you only have a small circle, you must make a shopping list as soon as possible. Many of us get carried away when Christmas shopping, which causes a surge in impulse purchases. To avoid overspending on things you don’t need, having a list of the presents you need to buy will help you stay within your means. While it may be tempting to splurge out on additional gifts, you need to be savvy with your money.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, many shoppers feel safer going online rather than visiting the high street. While retail stores are open, all the government guidelines like social distancing and the number of people allowed in a shop at one time can result in large queues that can be time-consuming. Therefore, shopping online will mean you can surf the web for presents from the comfort of your own home. And if you look in the right places, you may be able to get special discounts and promotional offers that can save you tons of money.
Consider a Loan
If money is tight during the pandemic, you may spend many a night worrying about how you’re going to afford Christmas. Having an emergency fund that you can dip into when you need it can put your mind at ease. So, considering a loan may be the right option for you. Brokers like paydayuk.co.uk will give you instant quotes on loans that can be approved in minutes. Payday UK understands you need your money as quickly as possible, which is why they are one of the most trusted online loan brokers who compare thousands of loan quotes every day.
Earn Extra Cash
For those who have had their hours reduced or jobs lost because of the coronavirus pandemic, you may be wondering how you can make extra cash before Christmas arrives. Thanks to technology, all you need is a good camera phone and laptop which can be used to sell clothing that may be collecting dust in your wardrobe. Platforms like Etsy and eBay are used by millions of people to buy and sell used items.
Give Homemade Gifts
If you enjoy DIY and can’t spend a fortune on presents this year, why not make your own? Making personalised gifts for your loved ones will add a sentimental touch and save you tons of cash. Whether it’s by making a photo frame, a hand-painted mug, or making your own bath bombs, the possibilities are endless.
Buy Own Brand
For those who have been tasked with making Christmas dinner, you can save money by purchasing own branded products. When you’re next at the supermarket, comparing the brands you know and love with own branded items will surprise you. The latter will usually be cheaper and can save you a great deal of money once you’ve bought everything you need. What’s more, many own branded products are just as good as the popular ones.
Use Social Media
Whether you love it or loathe it, social media is a great way to score bargains. If you have a Facebook account, heading onto the marketplace section will let you connect with others in your area. Buy, swap, and sell pages are incredibly popular, with thousands of users selling items that are as good as new and for a fraction of their original price.
Although we’re currently living in unprecedented times and the future may look bleak, that’s not to say that Christmas is cancelled. If you have money worries, all the tips above can help keep costs down and make the festive season something to look forward to, rather than dread.
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