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Christmas economies

07 December 2014 / 22:12:57  GRReporter
1723 reads

The crisis has ravaged our wallets, with our funds going mostly into bills, taxes and loan repayment. But we could just as well spare some money, if we wish to cheer up family and friends.

As this is all easier said than done, here is a concrete list of 10 easy and feasible pieces of advice about how you can be frugal around Christmas and purchase presents for all your loved ones, including yourself.

1. Internet sales

Let Internet into your life – not only to shop at bargain prices, but to earn a bit of cash as well by selling stuff you no longer use. There are countless websites, providing you with this opportunity, so it is only a matter of resorting to action.

2. Forget about your credit card

Credit cards have thrown millions of people into financial woes. Unless you can afford that nice pair of leather boots, simply abstain from buying it. Sinking in debt for the sake of something far beyond the bare necessities of life is just silly. And if you still decide to grab the boots, sacrifice something else instead of reaching for your credit card. A deceivingly easy solution, the card will do you more harm than good.

3. Plan out your meals

Dedicate half an hour on Sunday to plan out your meals throughout the week. This is how you are going to save money from buying ready-made foods. Besides, you won't dump food for having failed to properly anticipate your rations. Most of the cash in households goes down the drain through the stomach, therefore – don't ignore food planning.

4. Carefully select your entertainment

Do not shut yourself and your family up at home because you wish to be frugal. Simply spare money while hanging out. Opt for a restaurant where drinks are inexpensive. Meet your friends later in the afternoon when most bars or restaurants have a happy hour and two can drink for the price of one. Proper fund management does not imply depriving yourself of all entertainment.

5. Learn how to say no

Your friends might well have money for everything, but you don't. Before borrowing their habits, learn how to turn down proposals and abstain from eating out every day just because they do so.

Unless you learn to say no, you will end up empty-pocketed, which is way more unpleasant than skipping a dinner or two with friends. If they are real friends, a skipped meal together won't affect your relations and they are going to find more frugal ways to share fun with you.

6. Do it yourself

You can make almost anything you want with your own hands – with a little money and the joy of creation. Blogs all over the web show how you can craft a whole lot of things – from furniture to clothes. All that is left for you to do is buy a bottle of glue, a box of nails and a second-hand sewing machine.

7. A reasonable holiday

Do not give up on going on holiday as it will give you the strength you need to carry on being frugal. Book cheaper tickets, do a little research into cheaper hotels or restaurants before you arrive at your chosen destination. You can just as easily use plenty of cheaper accommodation options. Holiday making on the cheap is entirely feasible, you only have to investigate what's on offer.

8. Work out outside the gym

Cycle to work – you will save money for commuting but also from your gym subscription fees. This will provide you with the cheapest workout every single day. You might have wanted to use some encouragement from your coach, but you might well do without it – you’ll take heart from your full wallet.

9. Use in moderation

If you smoke and are unable to quit, cut down on the number of cigarettes - or the number of drinks, if you drink. Extremes are never good for you – neither for your pocket, nor for your health. You don't have to give up everything, but come to grips with your own abuse.

10. Discover your hidden talents

Are you good at dancing? Can you make furniture or marmalade? Waste no time and use your talents to earn a bit of cash. Handmade things always fetch value – what's wrong with making money by doing something you love doing?

Tags: saving money Christmas gifts
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