by Jennifer Cole
Last Christmas, the average American racked up $1,054 of debt. This was 5% higher than the debt accumulated during the previous holiday season. With pressure mounting to create the perfect day, 36% splurge on last-minute gifts, while 27% spend more than they intended to on food for the holidays, according to Marketwatch. However, there are simple things you can do to ensure a luxurious, low-cost and eco-friendly Christmas is had by all so that when 2019 arrives, you’ll feel prosperous in all areas of your life.
Set a strict budget
The key to a financially happy Christmas is to set a strict budget and stick to it. It’s predicted that Americans will spend 4% more this year than last year, with the holidays set to cost $1,007 per person. Naturally, you’ll want to spend cash on your loved ones and on making your home look amazing for the holidays. Therefore, it’s important to get your finances organized both before and after Christmas. By consolidating your debts into one debt, you’ll end up with just regular repayment and interest rate, thus making it simpler to manage your cash flow.
Keep decorations to a minimum
They say less is more and nothing can be truer during the holidays. 17% of Americans spend more on decorations than they anticipated. However, those sparkling lights, artificial Christmas trees, and rustling tinsel are harmful to both the planet and your purse strings. But, you needn’t go without this Christmas. Opt for a real Christmas tree and decorate with natural decorations such as pine cones, berries, and painted nuts. Meanwhile, make beautiful festive candles out of hollowed out logs and sprigs of berries.
Make your own gifts
46% of U.S. citizens feel pressure to spend more than they can afford during the holiday season. One of the most expensive areas for families is gift giving. Statistics from the National Retail Federation reveal that the average American will spend $637.67 on gifts this Christmas. However, rather than flocking to the high street and purchasing commercial Christmas gifts, opt to make your own presents. Handmade jewelry, scented candles, cookies, and bath bombs are all simple and affordable to make. Furthermore, your loved ones will appreciate the thought, time and effort you’ve put into creating the perfect present for them too.
Ditch the traditional Christmas dinner
A typical Christmas dinner for 11 will cost $152 this year. With multiple meat, veggies, and cakes to purchase it’s easy to see how the price soon mounts up. But, by choosing a more ethical meal in the form of a vegan dinner, you and your guests can all enjoy good food for less this festive season. Roasted stuffed cauliflower, a stuffed pie wreath, butternut squash soup, and tofu casserole are great dishes which will cost significantly less than a 16-pound turkey which costs approximately $21.71 alone.
The holidays are a time to spend with family rather than falling into debt. Therefore, avoid splashing out on lavish gifts, rich food, and fancy decorations and opt for a demure yet luxurious Christmas by choosing eco-friendly items and by sticking to your budget.