Christmas is a wonderful time filled with parades, eggnog, family, and fun. But it can also mean headaches, regret, and an unhappy wallet.
How are you supposed to enjoy Christmas when there’s so much pressure to spend, spend, spend?
I know you want to buy a gift for everyone in your life, but if you’re struggling with money, then you need to come up with a realistic budget – and stick to it!
The good news is, there are lots of ways to create wonderful memories without going into Christmas debt.
1. Make a Budget and Stick to It
Create a list that includes all the people you plan on buying gifts for. Everyone from teachers, mail carriers, co-workers, and neighbors. Next to each name, write down how much money you plan to spend on each person.
If you’re throwing a party or taking a Christmas trip with the kids, create a separate list with all your Christmas-related expenses like food, decorations, etc., and set a budget for each item. This will help you get your spending in control. Are you spending too much still? Then some of the people on your list have got to go. Send them a lovely Christmas card instead and let them know that you’re working with a limited budget this year.
2. Go for Group Gifts
Buying a gift for every single person in your family can be really time-consuming and expensive. Instead, get a group gift the whole family can enjoy. It can be a gift voucher at their favorite restaurant, a family-friendly game for the whole gang, or a custom illustration of the family.
3. Ask for a Wish List
We all want to surprise our loved ones with a special gift that makes their heart sing. But figuring out what they want can be SO frustrating. Avoid the seasonal headache by asking what they actually want. Ask your family and friends to create a wish list full of items at different prices. This will make it easier to incorporate some of their suggestions into your budget.
4. Look Around the House and Make Extra Money
Look for items around the house that you no longer need, like old dining room chairs, mattresses, toys, and old clothes. You could sell them at a garage sale or on Facebook Marketplace and make a little extra money for Christmas gifts.
Did you get a gift last holiday season that you really don’t have any use for? Are your closets crammed with tons of unwanted gifts? Then re-gifting is the way to go! There may be someone in your family who might have good use for them this Christmas.
6. Cook or Make Your Gifts
Bake something nice like French toast muffins, eggnog cookies, or peppermint bark and gift it to family, friends, and neighbors. If you’re an art and crafts enthusiast, make handmade gifts people actually want, like Polaroid photo coasters or a jar of Peppermint Sugar Scrub, or even this delightful Cool Mint Sugar Scrub.
These tips will keep you from spending more than you and your family can afford. You’ll be waking up debt-free, happy, and relaxed when January rolls around!