‘Tis the season to be jolly and ’tis the season to start trimming your budget! The average American spends about $990 on Christmas gifts alone. I am totally guilty of overspending during Christmas so I have done some research on ways to save some money during this time of year. Lucky for you (and me) I found a bunch of great tips. By using these tips and spending wisely, your holiday season doesn’t have to be a total budget-killer. Cheers to that!
Before you start planning extravagant Christmas parties and decorations, calculate your budget and see what you can afford. It makes everything easier (and cheaper) when you have a set and known budget to work around.
Those extra, unexpected Christmas gifts can throw off your Christmas budget. You can prepare for this by purchasing one or two generic gifts that you can give in return when you receive an unexpected gift or have an unexpected party to attend. Gift cards are a great option, but you could also get a bottle of wine for a party or another type of hostess present. See my recent post on hostess gifts here. You could even buy something you would enjoy…just in case you end up not giving it away.
It’s important to plan ahead when it comes to Christmas gifts. Try looking for Christmas gifts at any time during the year. You can even find great sales on things in the summer and save them for Christmas. You can also plan ahead through comparison shopping online. Or try ordering most of your gifts online…hello Cyber Monday!
Kids don’t value their gifts based on price or brand. So don’t shell out the big bucks unnecessarily. They will usually be happy with any gift they get…no matter what the price!
Most people throw away their Christmas cards once the holidays are over, which basically is just like throwing money in the trash. This year, instead of spending your money on store-bought cards that will only end up in the garbage, send your family and friends Christmas cards and wrapping they will want to keep. For example:
- Use a favorite photo to create a personalized photo card
- Write a letter to your loved ones instead of sending a card. This is a great way to tell them how much they mean to you, or thank them for something special they might have done for you this year.
- Rethink your wrapping by buying brown paper and string, or just use plain colored paper to wrap your presents. Then you’ll avoid pricey Christmas wrapping and can use the excess during the year to wrap other gifts.
mean that with every purchase you make, you get a percentage (typically 5%) back, which makes your shopping instantly cheaper.
I’m guilty of this one…I always buy way to much food (and make way too many cookies) during this time of year. Write a specific grocery list before you go shopping so you don’t roam the aisles buying that third jar of Nutella (you already have two at home).
Before you start shopping, following your favorite retailers on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Many companies offer discounts exclusively to their social media followers. A quick search of their recent posts may reveal money-saving discount codes.
Another thing I’m guilty of…when you’re shopping for gifts, it’s easy to be tempted to buy for yourself. Make this season about others, not you…and remember that the items you want will be less expensive during the after-season sales.
If you follow these money saving tips, I’m positive you’ll trim that budget and be less stressed come January!