Christmas can be a difficult time when you’re struggling to make ends meet. And it’s even harder if your children have a wishlist as long as their arm that they just keep adding to every time they watch TV and another advert pops up for something they desperately need. 😉
How do you tell the little ones that they won’t be getting everything on their list when they think that Santa is in charge of bringing the presents. How do you tell them that you can’t afford what they want, even when they’re non-believers and you can already anticipate the snapchats on Christmas morning of their friend’s amazing present piles. How do you make sure that you focus on family and not presents?
It’s not easy but it’s definitely worth the extra effort! but you can still have an amazing Christmas without spending too much money and without putting yourself into debt.
Let’s kick off with some ideas to help you cut your Christmas spending….
Check out my 50 ways to save money at Christmas ideas to see if you can save some extra pennies here and there. Get a pen and paper handy and write down as many of the ideas as you can that will help you save some money this Christmas. The more you save in one area, the more you’ll have to spend in another.
What about making some extra money in time for Christmas so you can buy those extra couple of bits you want?
You’ve still got plenty of time left to make a little extra money to put towards Christmas so you might find it worth having a look through these 30 ways to make money ideas to see if there’s any in there that will work for you. There’s quite a few on there that would give you cash before Christmas.
Now, let’s see if we can make Christmas more about family time than presents and material things.
Here’s a list of 20 free things you can do together as a family at Christmas that you can use for inspiration to start planning your family fun Christmas. You could start right now and try to fit in as many fun family activities between now and Christmas Day.
You can get some more ideas from the list of activities that we’ve included in our Family Christmas Traditions Advent Calendar. It’s not too late to make your own either although you you don’t have to have one envelope for every day if you don’t want to. You could just fill 5 or 10 envelopes with fun family activities and pick one when you have some free time.
And finally, let’s talk about managing expectations.
When my children were believers, I always told them that Santa and his elves delivered the presents that we bought and added an extra one of his own to the pile. At the time, it was more because I (selfishly?) didn’t want a stranger getting all the credit for the presents we bought. You could use this story if you couldn’t afford as much as you’d like as it would at least help a younger child understand why Santa wasn’t bringing them everything they wanted.
It’s harder in some ways with older children because they can be more materialistic but I’ve always found being completely honest with my children about money is the way to go. They understand when we can’t afford things and they know that if we can, then we’ll do our best to get them what they want to a certain degree.
I hope you have an amazing family Christmas, whatever your budget.
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