How to Save Money for Christmas


Photo by Joslyn Pickens 

When the Christmas season rolls around it is a time for gift-giving. However, before you go ahead and start spending, it is a good idea to try to save. 

With inflation rising, it's best to try to keep spending as minimal as possible. Here's a closer look at how you can control your spending this holiday season.

Create a Budget

The first step to saving money is to create a budget for the holiday season. First, write the names of all the people you want to buy gifts for and then decide how much money you want to spend on each of their gifts. 

This is an easy way to immediately control your spending. Once you have finished allocating the amount you want to spend, you can then calculate your expenditure. 

It might also be a lot more fun to try to fit the gifts you buy into the amount that you set for each person, instead of the other way around. Remember that getting gifts is simply a way to help us learn about the true meaning of Christmas. In the end, it's the thought that comes.

Use a Tracker

If you always have your phone with you a good idea will be to start using a tracker to keep your spending down this holiday season. It can be easy to say that you will think about how much you are spending in January. 

However, when January rolls around you will likely regret that you have spent so much. Getting an app on your phone to assist you with keeping track of your spending in real-time, is a good idea so that you can avoid regrets.

Start Shopping Early

One of the best things you can do is to start shopping as early as possible. The earlier you start shopping the less likely it is that you will overspend. 

Don't wait until the week of Christmas or the day before Christmas to start trying to find gifts. You are likely to end up having to buy things at more expensive prices. Take advantage of Black Friday deals and cyber week sales.

Combine Orders

If you decide to shop online you should consider combining your orders to ensure that you are getting the best value for your money. Buying all your gifts at one time and then getting them shipped out at once is the best way to avoid high shipping costs when you are purchasing gifts online.

Stay Off Your Credit Cards

Another thing you can do is try to stay off your credit cards during this time. Try to use cash instead. 

This is where making a budget becomes critical. You can then pull all the cash that you need at once.

Once that cash runs out your spending is done. Do not carry your credit cards with you when you go shopping. This will make it even easier for you not to use them if you run out of cash.

Set Up a Dedicated Christmas Account

If you typically have a lot of people you need to give gifts to at Christmas, you can set up a dedicated Christmas account. You can start putting funds in it from January so that at the end of the year you will have a good stash of cash ready to buy Christmas gifts. 

The good thing about having a separate account is that you get a debit card for that account. It helps you to separate your money. Even if you don't save in the account every month, you can decide on your budget for Christmas spending, put all the money into that account and then use your debit card. 

Shop All Year

Yes, you are trying to save money, but if you start your Christmas shopping a little bit every month by the end of the year you will already have a special gift ready for everyone.

Take advantage of all the sales that happen throughout the year and purchase something whenever you can. By the end of the year, you will have saved money and avoided the Christmas shopping rush.

Get the Gifts You Need

Getting gifts for the people you love at Christmas is critical. You don't want to disappoint anybody. However, gift-giving can rack up some very high bills. It's always a good idea to be as prepared as possible so that you can save as much money as you can for the new year. 

Tips For Making The Most Of At-Home Activities

 There are many ways that the home can be a fun environment, especially on days when it’s not possible to get outdoors. Yes, those rainy days when the household is confined to the indoor space with nothing to do.

In fact, there’s a lot that a household can get up to in the home. Here are a few tips to help take advantage of the wonderful opportunities available in the confines of your own home.

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Get creative with weekend baking and cooking

When it comes to getting into the kitchen, there’s nothing better than doing a little experimentation. On a day that doesn’t require a rush to get a meal ready, like the weekend, for example, it’s always good fun to try out some new bakes or to experiment on a new dish that you’ve wanted to try out for a while now.

With that in mind, consider what dishes are worth making during this time of year. Soups are a popular choice. Why not try this vichyssoise recipe? It’s a similar consistency to a soup and is the perfect way to try out some winter-warming dishes for all the family.

Spend some quality time with children making arts and crafts

There’s nothing better than spending some quality time with the children and getting creative. A good way to help unleash their inner arty side is by doing some arts and crafts. Get out all of the materials, including the more unusual types, and see what the children create.

An imagination and a passion for creativity can help craft some of the most talented minds, so it’s definitely worth helping children explore their creative side when possible.

Have a movie night with a favorite film and popcorn

A movie night with a favorite classic film is a good way to spend an evening, especially on the weekends. Partner it up with some popcorn or some light bites, along with a delicious tipple and you’ve got the makings of the perfect evening.

Sometimes, just lounging out in your comfies and watching television is all that’s needed to help enjoy the home and the people around you.

Spend some essential time on self-care habits

Where possible, spend some time looking after oneself. Self-care habits are important to have in place, especially as we can often neglect ourselves in the process of looking after others. Find ways to spend some time on self-care, whether that’s treating your skin to a face mask or starting a book that you’ve been meaning to get going with.

Switch off digitally and play some board games

We’re so heavily influenced and controlled by the digital world, sometimes it’s just good to switch off. With that in mind, think about switching off completely and playing some board games. These board games can be old classics or you could always purchase some new ones to see what board games of today are like.

Making the most of the home environment is important because often enough, the modern-day family doesn’t get a lot of time in it.

How To Prepare Your Home For Guests

 With guests on the way, it can be an absolute nightmare attempting to prepare your property for their arrival. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might imagine to get your home ready for guests, no matter how high their expectations may be! This guide contains some of the best steps that you can follow to refresh and revitalize your home in record time.

So, what are you waiting for? Read on to discover more!

Image Source - Pexels 

Focus On Curb Appeal 

Your home's exterior is the first thing that a guest is going to see when they arrive at your home - what will they currently be greeted with? If you have grass growing to hip-height, a dirty driveway covered in grime, and cloudy windows riddled with condensation, then any guest is going to feel uncomfortable about visiting or spending the night inside your home. You need to take advantage of the opportunity to set the scene in the best way as soon as a guest locks eyes on your home, as you can easily entice them in rather than turn them off!

To boost your curb appeal, always start with your garden. Get in touch with a team of experts such as those at masterscapes lawn care and landscaping, as this way you won’t have to get your hands dirty. Refreshing your garden so that it can take on a more manicured feel will help to make your property appear very well looked after, so it’s a step worth taking. You should always take the time to upgrade your windows if necessary, as cracked glass, fogginess and other related issues can certainly drag your properties aesthetic value down to an all time low. Get new double glazing and be sure to keep it shiny and clean - these windows will be eye-catchers for all of the right reasons!

Prepare Their Bedroom & En Suite 

Preparing your guests bedroom and en suite bathroom should be your next focus, as you need to be able to create the most enticing, relaxing space that includes everything they could ever need while staying at your home. Make sure that they have fresh clean bed sheets, as well as a couple of extra pillows and a thick blanket that they can utilize to suit their personal preferences. It’s a good idea to consider purchasing a mini-fridge to put in their bedroom, that you can fill with drinks and snacks in case they get hungry or thirsty. 

When it comes to their en suite, think about what you would likely need when visiting a friend or family member for a few days. Hygiene products like shower gel or soap, shampoo, conditioner and hand wash are essentials that you need to purchase beforehand. Buy small, travel sized bottles - this way, your guests can open a brand new packet and you won’t have to throw heaps away. Don’t forget to provide them with a bath towel and a hand towel, as well as a bath mat to cover the floor if necessary. They’ll appreciate every small touch, as it will mean that they won’t have to come to you to ask for something.

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Loungefly Stranger Things Mini Backpack

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Stranger Things Calendar 

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Funko Action Figure: Stranger Things 3  Pack 

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Family Safety Online - Tips Every Parent Should Know

 Keeping kids safe online does not have to be too time-consuming. The devices, apps, and programs can help you a lot, and you can keep track of any online profiles they have if you know their passwords. Here are some top tips and strategies for keeping your children safe when they use the family PC or any other online device. They can help keep your information safe too.

Make A Kids Profile On Your PC

This is a top tip for both of you. Create a user profile just for your kids and lock out certain elements or remove programs you do not want them to have access to. This lets you keep your profile too, and it can remain untouched. You can check on your kid's profile and web browsing history and also install monitoring programs if you wish.

Protecting them in this way also protects your PC activity and your private documents and email access. You may enjoy playing some classic casino games online at Jackpot Casino or play their live casino games. Having a personal profile means they do not have access to your gaming, personal documents, or programs, protecting everyone.

Keep The Screen Where You Can See It

Parenting requires a lot of different delicate balances. You want your children to grow up to be confident and independent, but you also need to keep a careful eye over them to protect them from danger and threats. This is true online as well as in the physical world. 

Make sure you can get a parent’s eye view of the screen from a distance. Give your kids a little leeway and let them do what they want to do on the computer but keep checking what they are up to. When things get loud or go quiet, that is usually a sign they are up to something they should not be. 

Communicate With Them

Talk to your children about online safety and let them know they have to take care when using the internet and the computer. This should include both communicating and interacting with strangers online, avoiding some common pitfalls. They need to be careful what they click on.

Kids are as vulnerable to spam and malware as the rest of us, and a little education goes a long way. Teach them some basic safety rules, and lay down some ground rules for online behavior and how to act around the PC.

No Social Media Until They Are Teenagers

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media services have age restrictions on accounts. A good rule of thumb is to not let your kids join a social network until they are a teenager. Even kids' versions of apps and websites can make them vulnerable to online threats.

When they do get old enough, you will have to decide how to introduce your kids to social media. Facebook is a good first step as you can monitor their profile more easily and keep an eye on their friend group.

Follow these steps, and you should have plenty of control over your young children’s online activity without having to stay over their shoulders. Their self-confidence will benefit, and so will your time management.