What to do if you can’t afford Christmas gifts

Holiday Season is here, the tinsel everywhere doesn’t lie. All people seem to talk about are Christmas parties and Christmas gifts, and you can’t help but feel the warm excitement of it all. And then…

You decide to have a look at your budget for this Christmas and realise you won’t be able to afford Christmas gifts this year, and no matter what the reason for that is – an unexpected expense, the loss of a source of income, or maybe just life – you feel like Scrooge.

Street UK - What to do if you can't afford Christmas

Well, there is no need to feel like that. You are not alone (in fact, ONS figures show UK households have been holding back on Christmas expenditure since 2008), so instead of dwelling on that Grinch-y feeling, here are some things you can do:

Be honest

It might be hard, but just say it. Tell your loved ones you can’t afford to spend money on Christmas this year. They should be respectful and understanding, and maybe they’re also tight and you’re just encouraging them to be honest too!

Budget and priorities

It is easy to overspend and get into debt on Christmas, set a budget and stick to it. If that means you can’t buy gifts or go to all Christmas parties you’re invited to, set priorities. Choose the parties you can attend, skip the gifts or only buy them to your closest family members.

Being tight doesn’t mean you have to miss out on Christmas entirely.

Get your hands dirty

Think of alternatives to expensive gifts – how about hand written cards? A short recipe book with your Christmas favourites written by yourself? A coupon-book with the ever so appreciated ‘one night of baby sitting’? We have some very cool Christmas DIY ideas on this post.

Relax and have a merry Christmas!

Relax. It is not the end of the world. Skipping Christmas gifts this year is better than getting into a spiral of debt. Your loved ones will understand and appreciate that, after all, Christmas is not about material gifts. Have a Merry Christmas!