Holidays can be expensive, and it is no secret that Christmas is the most expensive holiday season. Between buying gifts, hosting parties, or taking part in other holiday adventures, the money can add up quickly. Not to mention the unexpected that life throws at us sometimes.
Whether money is tight, or you are just looking to stick to a budget this year, there are some helpful tips and ways to spend less this holiday season.
Read also: How to start saving for Christmas now.
This is probably the number one tip that everyone will tell you. Sometimes it is not easy to plan ahead, and it is something that can easily be forgotten, but it is important to try as much as possible to plan ahead for the holidays.
While you are planning for the holidays there are a few things you will want to consider and tips that can help you save.
- Make a list of everyone you need to purchase gifts for.
- Take your time and think about how much you want to spend on each person.
- Stick to a budget when it comes to each gift and do not go over your budget.
- Start saving before Christmas. As hard as it can be, if you put some cash back early, you won’t have to frantically figure out where the holiday money will come from.
- Figure out your holiday schedule.
- If you are traveling, check for ways to save money on your flights or destination spots.
Start New Traditions That Are Affordable
Christmas traditions are meaningful and something we all look forward to but sometimes they can be expensive. An easy way to cut back but still keep the traditions going is to start less expensive traditions that the family will enjoy.
Some ideas on cheap and frugal family traditions that you can start:
- Spend the day baking and making festive holiday themed treats with the family.
- Find some fun DIY crafts and holiday activities the family will enjoy doing at home.
- Have a holiday movie marathon with your favorite Christmas movies.
- Get the entire family involved in a snowball fight and see who will become The Snowball Fight Champion for the year.
- Walk around the neighborhood (or drive) to see the beautiful Christmas lights everyone has put up.
- Attend local free or affordable holiday events that are happening in your area.
Purchase Items When on Sale or Before the Holidays
If you can get a head start on the holiday shopping and work on getting gifts throughout the year, this can help save you money in the long run. As you see items that go on sale throughout the year, grab them up and set them back so that you have them for the upcoming holidays. You will save money since the items were on sale and that will make one less thing you will have to worry about as the holiday gets closer.
To save even more moolah during the holidays, start stocking up on stocking stuffers and other gifts when they go on clearance. One of the best times to do this is to purchase items the day after Christmas. That’s when holiday items go on clearance and are deeply discounted giving you the opportunity to start working on next year’s gifts or holiday decorations.
Get Rid of the Unnecessary
Take a look at your holiday habits and see what unnecessary items or things that you can drop this year. For instance, sending holiday cards. Do you really need to send hundreds of cards to everyone you know? Instead, send cards to close friends and family.
If you think about your habits and find a few things that you can either cut back on or cut out from the picture altogether, that money you are saving will add up. Probably a lot quicker than you think since we don’t always realize the little things that we tend to spend more money on.
Give Gifts from The Heart
Since purchasing gifts is the most expensive part of the holidays, why not start giving gifts that you’ve made yourself instead of something from the store.
Not only are homemade gifts more affordable, but they also have a good sentimental attachment to them, and your gift recipient will appreciate them more.
If you are not sure what to make, think about what kinds of items they like, what hobbies they enjoy doing, their favorite sports, team, etc. Use those as starting points so that you can start brainstorming some ideas.
Ideas for Homemade Gifts
- Bath and body items (make your own lotions, soaps, bath bombs, creams, etc.)
- Framed wall art or picture décor
- Handprint gifts
- Baked goods or treats
- Homemade personalized coupon book
Get creative with your homemade gifts! You don’t have to be a DIY star to make your own gifts because the most important thing about the gift you are making is the meaning and sentiment behind it.
By doing just a few simple things, you can end up saving a ton of money during the holiday season. Be smart about your spending and dive deep down to see what areas you can cut back on.