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The holidays are a happy time, but they can also be expensive. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce expenses
In Latin America, Christmas is a serious thing, it is a time when people give free rein to their impulses and spend their savings, all for their loved ones. In Colombia, for example, according to the magazine Dinero, the average budget per person for Christmas gifts is more than $ 125 dollars, and in Mexico, according to Animal Politico, each person will spend on average $ 140 dollars and buy up to six gifts.
Leer en español: 5 consejos para ahorrar en navidad
It is a time that is accompanied by many expenses, but not having to cover them should not be a reason to stop celebrating, there are ways to participate in the festivities without necessarily resorting to debt, or without exhausting your savings.
- Play 'secret friend'
Also called 'Secret Santa', is a very fun way to organize the delivery of gifts within the family or the company is organizing a game of 'secret friend' or 'Secret Santa', also resorting to this game can save everyone involved some money.
Instead of having to buy gifts for everyone, the game of 'secret friend' makes each person give and receive a single gift, and randomly each player will be assigned to someone to give him away and someone to whom he should give.
The game is extremely easy to organize because there are several web pages that assign everything in a secret way and distribute the information to all players via e-mail. Many of these pages, such as sneakysanta.com, allow players to post lists of the gifts they would like to receive, which can help all players to be satisfied. Finally, you can also set a minimum or maximum price per gift, which can help anyone to spend more than the account.
Read also: What did I give to my secret Santa?
Plan your purchases
Perhaps the most important thing to fulfill a budget during the holidays is to plan all your purchases. Have a list with recipients and how much you plan to spend for each gift, this way you will not wear out thinking about what gifts you lack or you will not be buying too many gifts.
Knowing what gifts you will give to each person can help you set aside a realistic budget that allows you to fulfill all the gifts and your budget so that you do not find yourself with unpleasant surprises in your credit card bill.
As you go shopping, make sure you also record what you bought and how much it cost, so you can monitor your expenses and adjust your budget, it will also help you to know how to save something more at Christmas the following year, since you already have an idea of how much to save and set aside for Christmas shopping.
- Use cash if possible
In line with the previous advice, it is important to keep track of your expenses during the holidays so that you do not overdo it and end up buying more gifts than you thought or spending more than the bill. For this reason, it is more convenient to pay for your purchases in cash, so it will be more difficult to exceed your budget, and also avoid burdening the debts of the holidays throughout the coming year.
- Organize 'costume' dinners
The 'suit' dinners, where each guest brings some of the dishes that will be served, are an excellent idea to celebrate with family or friends without the host having to bear all the expenses. Some people can take charge of the main course, others of the accompaniment, others of the wine and so on until completing a dinner with all the necessary and traditional of this time of year.
- Save on the least important
Gifts and celebrations are often important, and they are what makes Christmas such a special time. Therefore, it is understandable if they are something that you do not necessarily want to save. However, there are other Christmas purchases in which it is possible to cut costs.
For starters, paper and gift bags can become very expensive when accumulating the gifts that must be prepared. There are many low-cost alternatives, such as newspaper and Kraft paper, which with a little creativity can get to be very Christmas without consuming much of your Christmas budget. In addition, they are much more environmentally friendly options, as they are easier to recycle than traditional wrapping paper.
If you are facilitated by crafts, making your own Christmas decorations can be a very entertaining way to save, which can result in a much more unique and special decoration for your home.
LatinAmerican Post | Pedro Bernal
Translated from "5 consejos para ahorrar en navidad"