Eight Ways To Save Money This Christmas

Christmas, for many of us, is the longest celebration of the year—and the most expensive. We tend to get caught up in the enthusiasm of the season and forget to exercise restraint in spending.
It is management’s responsibility to always be on the lookout for ways to minimize unnecessary expenses at all times. Even if sales are doing well now, next year may be a different story. Without extra cash to cushion potential setbacks, your company may not be around next Christmas. Bean counters may not be admired, but you should be glad if there is one in your firm to make every peso count. Check out some of the advice they’ve given:
Turn down your air-conditioning’s thermostat. Since the weather is colder in December, your cooling needs are less. There are some offices that are so cold that employees are forced to wear jackets to work. In cases like this, it would save thousands of pesos in electricity bills if the setting is not so cold.
Use online group buying sites. A lot of companies offering great discounts on a wide variety of items and services have appeared online. They can afford to do this by aggregating orders to get a huge deal. While for the most part the offers are directed at individuals and not companies, there are now plenty of items that may be availed of even by a business. This is especially true for corporate gift items that companies give out during Christmas. Entrepreneurs and purchasers must visit a few of these online sites to see if they could get a bargain.
Postpone purchases to after the Christmas season. The majority of items will be sold for less after the strong demand from Christmas buying has abated. Study if postponing your purchases for a month or two is feasible, and if they are the type of items that are normally discounted after Christmas.
See if there are similar but cheaper venues for your Christmas party. One of the largest single cost items in celebration is the venue. If you will be partying at a hotel, the cost of the venue is incorporated in the food cost. While, admittedly, the ambiance does add much value to the celebration, it may be possible to find an equally satisfying place at a lesser cost. If there really is a strong need to save, then you may even try to find a place in your office or plant to conduct the festivities.
Use LED lighting and inverter technology air conditioning. LED consumes far less electricity. Even if it costs more initially, the savings over the life of the bulb will more than make up for the expense several times over. Inverter type air conditioning uses a technology that allows for more efficient cooling, which reduces electrical consumption. Although replacement could be done at any time of the year, there are more holidays during the Yuletide season so there would be less disruption.
Have your maintenance and repairs done. This recommendation may seem out of a place for an article on how to save since you have to spend to accomplish this. However, I prefer to be a little bit non-conformist here since the benefits of proper upkeep of equipment and facilities is so huge when compared to the expense involved that you will in fact be saving a lot in the long term. As in the installation of LED lighting and inverter air conditioning, the holidays are the best time for these essential tasks.
Keep your Christmas celebrations simple. In all my years of observing company Christmas parties, there is no direct correlation between the extravagance and the happiness of the employees. Getting costly entertainers and overflowing food are nice, but if there will be retrenchments afterwards, then less costly alternatives must be considered. Usually people have more fun if there are more activities where they can participate in, which is also cheaper.
Limit or do not serve alcohol. Serving even the cheapest alcoholic drinks usually adds a substantial amount to the expense of the occasion. The greatest expense is if you have an open bar. If you must serve liquor then, at least, have a limit on consumption. This will not only save a lot of money but will also greatly minimize unfortunate incidents brought about by intoxication.
There are countless ways to save money, especially during Christmas. While it is right to celebrate and enjoy, you must never forget to be fiscally responsible. Being careful with your spending will increase your chances of more bountiful Christmases to come!

*Originally published by the Manila Bulletin. BB1, Wednesday, December 12, 2012. Written by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.