Okay so, there is heightened anxiety for you. You are stressed and wondering how the Christmas will go when you have little bucks in your account. Your friends are busy displaying their heavy financial status by pre-ordering and ordering Christmas gifts for loved ones. Colleagues are busy talking about the shows, and the monies they will lavish when the yuletide day comes up.
What will you do?
Suck? Feel unhappy? Or agitated that your Christmas will not go the way you earlier planned? There you got it all wrong, you can have fun and still rock your Christmas season even if you are BROKE!
Now I can see you shifting at the edge of your seat (phone). Yes! Sure! You can have the fun of your life with little or no money in your account!
Christmas is unarguably the most festive season of the year and its celebrations are always off the hook. It takes an awful lot of planning, and if executed well brings flawless and soothing results. It is indeed a time to spread love; not the kind spread in the valentine season but a different kind. It’s also the time most rekindle their church going streak (especially in Africa) which may have been lacking for some time; and also the season when old tunes probably as old as our ancestors (maybe even older) come back in vogue and seem to have never lost their appeal.
For most people, Christmas season is the best time to spoil one’s self silly, dine in the most expensive restaurants, visit the biggest shopping malls, buy tickets to go see the biggest music concerts of the year, take soothing trips and most of all, spend every waking moment at the cinema seeing the biggest Christmas blockbusters.
But, is Christmas season just about spending a whole lot of money? Yes, you need money to have an ideal good time but certainly not tons of it.
But Hey, you can have a very fulfilling Christmas without money on you. You’d be surprised at just how you can achieve spending Christmas on a zero budget.
You want to ask me how? Let’s get to it then! I’ll show you.
First off, I’ll divide these 10 ways to enjoy Christmas when you are broke into two categories; Go Cheap, and Go Creative.
1. Have a sale:
Hey, there is absolutely no shame in sourcing for a little cash especially when there’s none. What’s the big deal? It’s just a yard sale.
Well, you probably have a couple of items that you haven’t used in a really long while that have not lost their value. You could do a check to see what those items are and if you can really afford to not use them any more before you put them up for sale.
It’s also best to check what best price to place on those items to avoid them remaining unsold. Listen, it’s easy money and it’s yours if only you can swallow your pride already and have a yard sale. Who doesn’t love a cheap valuable sale? Well, don’t answer that. I know I do. So, go on, get them together before it’s too late, put a placard up that says “On-going yard sale; lowest prices ever” and make that cheddar. You’d be surprised at how much you could make to spoil yourself silly.
2. Re-Use Decorations:
Indeed, the true beauty of Christmas is in the decorations we put up everywhere. Each year, people (especially neighbors) try to outdo each other. We all want the most beautifully lit front yards, the most decorated Christmas trees drowning in glittering ornaments and priceless designs. We want it all. But, must we buy new decorations each year? Must we shell out a whole lot of money to buy what we already have just because we feel we want new ones? Isn’t that excessiveness? Believe me, it’s another word for it. Well, newsflash, plastic bottles aren’t the only things we can reuse, decorations are too. So go on, bring out those old ornaments and crystals, pull out that old lighting, plug it in. I’m sure it still shines as bright as a new one. Hang it around the house, use it even to create fun glittering words that inspire the true spirit of Christmas. Make sure your neighbors see it, if they don’t, then its use is wasted. Again, you’ve got nothing to be ashamed of, it’s Christmas.
3. Create A Budget/Plan:
Everybody on a steady income knows that the most effective way to manage money is to create a budget for it. I once had plans to pay off a few debts and I had a particular amount of money to do that and I needed a little more to meet my payment plan. I made an estimate of how much I would get to complete it because I felt it was inevitable that I would get the rest of the cash. But along the line, I forgot to make plans on how to start with the amount I had at hand. I felt I could maybe hold on to it, or even take a few off of it believing a replacement would happen when the new cash came in; so I spent some of it and the replacement plan never happened. Then slowly, I spent more of it till it was all gone. Was it stupid of me to believe that I’d get more money later? No, it wasn’t. Was it also stupid not to budget the little bit I had already so i could use it efficaciously? Yes it was.
No income earner is ever really flat broke. We always have a little something stashed away, no matter how little. So I say, create a list of everything you need to get, cross off the irrelevant, and make the most pressing or easier-to-get ones a priority. Estimate how much each priority would cost and allocate a particular amount of what you have to each. This will help you gain more with what you have already. Feel free to cross off an irrelevant trip to the spa and replace it with the purchase of comfy slippers as an achievable priority. It can even be a much better gift to yourself. I’m just saying.
4. Shut Out The Temptation:
It’s everywhere, on every turn, all up in our faces, ideas of what things to get ourselves for Christmas. Tempting us badly cause it obviously has the upper hand. It has our undivided attention. They are mostly very excessive things that we don’t need at all, but because everyone is talking about it, the want for it is heightened in us. I remember wanting an iPhone for Christmas just because most of my friends had gotten one for themselves.
They obviously had planned it along while back, but me, I just wanted to get one for myself because it looked good when they showed it to me. So try your best to shut out the screaming temptation. Avoid commercials on cable TV. Do not, I repeat, do not go to the mall, some things there, you can never un-see. Rather, busy yourself with other time fulfilling activities and you will surely testify when Christmas is over.
5. Buy Smaller/Less Expensive Gifts:
Due to the little budget you have, your purchases must march what you need. Don’t go breaking your neck buying a huge baking oven when you can easily get a micro wave. The idea of getting smaller and less expensive gifts is to work around your budget and save a few bucks. After all, you’ve got very little, why try to pull a Mayweather when you know you can’t afford to. He can easily afford that, you can’t.
6. Have A Small Get Together?
If you are one of those people who can’t eat alone and enjoy having friends over to dine with you, then you have nothing to worry about. But you have definitely got to think small though. Forget about what you’re and how you used to do it. You can still have friends over, yes, nothing more than five persons though. Six upwards may be a bit excessive and believe me, you may not be able to afford it.
You could put together a small dinner without breaking a sweat. Yes, you can get a good cheap turkey, make some salad, cook some food with the ingredients you have (you’ve got to be a good cook though to pull it off) and get some juice. Then dinner is served. You could all watch a movie on your TV later. You see? Effective.
7. Going Out? Think Small:
You obviously can’t afford to afford to take yourself on an expensive outing because, duh! You’re broke. So here’s what you could do instead, google cheap places to have a good time; it could be a random karaoke bar that also serves a good meal or even, you could go bowling. You could even go to the beach with some friends and take your own food along. There are so many interesting places to visit that don’t come with huge price tags.
8. Go Visiting
It’s Christmas, the best time in the year to give and also to share. I’ll let you in on a secret, Christmas season is also the best time to ask for things and not seem like a beggar. You could easily ask a friend for an invite to have Christmas dinner with him/her. Believe me, they’d be happy to have you except you’ve got stingy friends. So go on, give it a try, it’d be fun.
9. Make Your Own Decorations:
How handy are you around the house? How creative can you be? The easiest way to save money you don’t have is to create your own stuff and not buy them. You could hack down an old tree, decorate it with some shiny old jewelry and put it up in the house. Hang some socks around, cut paper into certain decorative pieces (say the ginger bread man or maybe greeting cards) and hang it up too. You could also wrap a few boxes and place them under the tree. Trust me, you’d love it when you’re done.
10. Make Your Own Gifts:
This is another totally money free way to join in the Christmas fun. You could knit a few sweaters on your own if you can, effortlessly design your own customized cards for friends and family. You could even wrap up a few gifts you haven’t used before and give to someone who needs it.
You certainly can’t miss out on the Christmas fun because you’re broke. Make what you have work for you.