During the last month of this year it’s all about the holidays, buying gifts and be surrounded by your loved ones. But a lot of times your financial planning often can get out of hand during this expensive holiday season. A few weeks ago I got asked by ABN AMRO to share with you my smart saving tips to get through the holidays without a financial hangover. And like we Dutchies say, #Doemeermetminder (do more with less).

My boyfriend and I are going to move next year, so I want to cut extra this Christmas. Unlike many others, we would like to live in a smaller house/appartement and enjoy a cozy home with not too much stuff around us. In our daily lives we are consciously cutting back, and we therefore carry this extra weight during the upcoming holidays. During our Christmas dinner I want to focus on healthy and easy meals. When it comes to styling I love taking it personal and just really simple. I use the stuff I have and integrate them into the decoration of the Christmas table. With simple DIY’s and accessories you put quickly a Christmas atmosphere.

Shop secondhand
I’m really a fan of second-hand shops so why not hopping on this train during the festive season. Before I go shopping at the high street, I always take a look at my local thrift store. Especially for accessories you may well go here. I found there a beautiful collection of marble tea light holders and plateaus. The price? Around 50 cents each. Truly a fraction of what you would normally pay for in a normal shop. And after Christmas I still use them through the house as decoration.

Go for a personal touch

For me it is all about the presence of family and friends during the holidays and gifts are just an afterthought. During birthdays, holidays and other festive occasions I like to make (small) gift packages of  favorite products of the birthday girl/boy. Often it is more about the gesture that you make than to the actual content. During the holidays I like to put a personal touch to the dining table to make a bit more special. For example, I think it’s nice to give a little notebook to your guests with some personal words. This doesn’t cost much but the outcome is always so nice. The booklet and other decoration cost a total of just a few euros.

Re-use and DIY
When I was in the attic looking around I came across a cool black and white duvet cover. That proved to be a perfect tablecloth decor. Perhaps it is not entirely normal to re-use these types of items, but it can possibly inspire you to look differently at the items you already have.
If you want to save money it’s always a good idea to make your accessories yourself for decorating your table. For example, I gave my black candles a special touch by making the bottom white with a ombre effect. Check especially Pinterest for the best DIY’s!

And where did I shop all the table accessories? I shopped a lot of the items at Sostrene Grene which is a must when you’re looking for affordable and minimalistic decorating items. As a true Dutchie I’m also a fan of Hema for practical stuff and cute decoration stuff. Want to read more about saving money during the holiday season? Hop over to ABN AMRO where you can read more of my tips (in Dutch) and definitely check also the tips of the other bloggers.