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Sebastian S.
Mar 23, 2023

How to afford Christmas this year (start now!)

Few people have not noticed that Denmark has been hit by inflation; grocery prices in the supermarket are rising, electricity prices are skyrocketing, and everyday life requires creative thinking to make ends meet - and this is difficult for many people.

In just a few months' time, another expensive budget item will be on the doorstep: Christmas. According to a previous report for YouGov, Christmas costs each Dane over the age of 18 an average of around DKK 5,500.

At Collectia, we have been helping and advising businesses and individuals with their finances for more than 150 years - and love to pass on useful tips, tricks and advice to both businesses and individuals.

In this post, we focus on things you can do as a private individual to get through Christmas in the best possible way - and it starts now.

1. Save on your electricity bill

When prices rise, it's a good reason to pay extra attention to your personal budget.

With electricity prices skyrocketing, now might be a good time to pay extra attention to which appliances - such as household appliances, televisions, computers, etc. - you actually use on a daily basis and which ones are just on standby. Up to 20% of our electricity consumption goes to appliances that are on standby. Maybe it's time to take a look at them? There could easily be money to be saved here.

You can also save on your electricity bill by doing your laundry when it's cheap. You can use the app 'Electricity prices' to get a complete overview of the cheapest times of the day to use electricity. Also consider whether your laundry can be washed at a lower temperature. If you wash at 30 degrees instead of 60 degrees, you can save about 50% of the electricity.

2. Find your inner bargain hunter and make a meal plan

Despite high inflation, with the price of basic groceries soaring, there are still some great deals out there. It's just a matter of paying even more attention than before.

If you don't get the offer papers in your mailbox, you can keep an eye on the offers on the app "Mine Tilbud", where you have access to all the grocery stores' offer papers. Make a meal plan for the week based on the offers. You can also, according to the Ministry of Food, follow the official dietary advice, i.e. increase vegetables and fruit and reduce meat, and then quench your thirst with water. If you have leftovers from dinner, they can be eaten for lunch the next day or frozen for another day.

3. Reconcile expectations for the Christmas gift exchange

Christmas is hard for most people, and many Danes will have a harder Christmas than in previous years. Therefore, your family and friends will also easily understand if Christmas affects you and your family. So be honest about it!

Perhaps you can agree on an alternative way of giving Christmas presents; agree on a gift amount, only give gifts to those with whom you celebrate Christmas, change the presents to a gift exchange game, give the gift of time, only give gifts to the children, stop giving gifts altogether, or draw lots to decide who will give each other gifts in the family.

An alternative way of exchanging Christmas gifts than the usual one doesn't have to spoil the Christmas spirit or the joy of gift-giving. Perhaps the joy of giving will be greater and more special because it is not overshadowed by a mountain of other Christmas presents.

Another tip to save on your Christmas gift budget is to keep an eye out for deals well in advance. Take advantage of the great deals on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, which are in November. You may be able to buy gifts second-hand or create homemade gifts. This will not only save you money, but also your carbon footprint.

4. Leave your car running and save fuel

Like electricity prices, gasoline prices have also increased significantly. So our advice, weather permitting, is to take your bike instead of your car. If you have a long distance to travel, you can take your bike on the train, bus or metro. If you take the S-train, it's free to take your bike with you.

You could also consider carpooling with a friend or colleague to split the gas bill. If you don't have a friend to drive with, you can also use GoMore to find a lift.

5. Free Christmas activities

For many people, Christmas is a time for family fun and activities. These activities can often be expensive, so here are a few ideas for free pleasures that you can enjoy during the festive season.

If you have children in the family, take advantage of the many local events across the country where you can watch the tree lighting and meet Santa Claus. In addition, many of the country's towns and cities will be transformed into Christmas markets, which are free to visit. In many places, you'll also be able to go ice skating for free. You can also explore the forest and find pine cones, leaves, moss and branches for Christmas decorations.

If you're not into outdoor activities, there's plenty of fun to be had indoors too. Have a Christmas movie night with blankets, cushions and Christmas cookies, or decorate the tree with homemade Christmas decorations. Head to the library and read a good Christmas story or have a karaoke night with friends at home with all the Christmas classics.

Looking for more ideas for Christmas activities where you live? Visit Aarhus, Visit Odense and Visit Copenhagen have lots of suggestions for Christmas activities.

Start now

The above tips are our recommendations for you to help you get through Christmas. If you really want to benefit from the above advice, we recommend that you start implementing them in your everyday life - even when Christmas is over. There is no indication that the trend of rising prices and high inflation is going away anytime soon.