5 Tips to help you control your Christmas spending

This year, Norwegians Christmas spending is predicted to exceed 45 billion kroner.

Each and every one of us will spend on average 11 256 kroner according to a recent survey by Ipsos for DNB. This is 600 kroner less than last year.

The survey revealed that we plan to spend 5 819 kroner on Christmas presents, compared to 6 376 kroner last year. The rest will be spent on food, decorations, Christmas parties, calendars and New Year’s celebrations.

Silje Sandmæl, consumer economist at DNB, recommends creating a Christmas budget and planning ahead. She acknowledges that Christmas can quickly become an expensive and stressful affair.

To combat the stress and help you avoid breaking the bank, we have put together our top tips. These will help you to enjoy the Christmas festivities with a good conscious this year.

Our efficiency experts agree with Sandmæel and recommend creating a clear plan. This will allow you to go into the Christmas rush with a clear strategy. In doing so, you will save time and money. Here are our expert’s top tips:

1. Create a Christmas budget

Only 7 % of us actually put together a Christmas budget. Therefore, many of us end up spending more than planned. This can lead to a nasty surprise come January.

To avoid any unpleasant surprises, start with a budget. In general, our money is spent on Christmas gifts, food, parties and decorations. Create a category for each of the areas you plan to spend money. Then write down how much you should spend and what you should spend your money on.

You can then track your spending via online banking so it is easy for you to see what you have spent your money on.

2. Create a Christmas gift list

In addition to creating a Christmas budget, we also recommend setting up a gift list of who to buy for, what to buy and a maximum price per person.

Giving gifts at Christmas is something special that should not suffer when trying to be more efficient. By becoming a more savvy shopper and using a combination of digital shopping and forward planning you can save a significant amount.

It may seem a little daunting getting started before most people have even considered creating their wish lists. However, statistics show that one in four don’t actually know what they want and would not be able to fill out a wish list anyway.

3. Do your homework

Our experts recommend doing your research before leaving the house. Check out any relevant comparison websites to find the best price and use the Web to determine how you can get the best deal.  Maybe it’s cheaper to buy some gifts online.

Another way to save money is by opting in to start receiving emails or texts from your favourite Christmas retailers directly to your mobile phone. These mobile vouchers can then be redeemed in-store and offer significant savings. Check out what’s available through Groupon, Let’s Deal and other similar sites.

4. Be creative

Today, the majority of us have everything we need. This has given way to a rising trend of alternative gifts such as experiences, time or something from the heart. Consider giving something homemade or a personal voucher to babysit or cook this year.

Our experts also recommend thinking outside the box and considering experiences as gifts. It could be movie or theatre tickets, travel or concert vouchers. Spa treatments are also popular.

Since the majority of us have our physical needs covered, consider Christmas charity cards and donations this year. Being creative can go a long way.

5. Create a shopping map

Once you have created your budget, gift list and compared prices online, set up a map of the shops you wish to visit. Then you can plan your shopping trip for a day you have time and be done quickly and efficiently.

This approach allows you to enjoy the process and holiday season with a good conscience.

Visma considers efficiency to be a top priority in all that we do. We hope these tips will help improve your holiday efficiency and free up your time so you can spend the holiday season doing what you love, with the people you love.

Source: Survey conducted by Ipsos for DNB, November 2016