Doesn’t everybody want to Save Money on Christmas? There’s so much we love about Christmas and we all want to enjoy the season without stressing over money the whole time. One way to make the season more relaxing and stress-free is by using a few tactics to help you save money. That way, you’re not fretting about how your bank and credit card accounts will look in January.
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The Best Ways to Save Money On Christmas
1. Set Your Christmas Budget
First, you have to set a budget.
You may be tempted to do this backward. It’s common for people to start by listing all the things they want to buy and do, adding that up and making it their budget.
But, really, you have to figure out how much you actually have to spend first, then divide it up amongst all the things you’d like to buy.
Yeah, that sounds really boring and not spirit-filled at all. But, when you don’t have a budget, you just end up buying whatever looks and sounds good, and-believe-me, you end up wayyyyy overspending.
Then, holy moly, you’ve got a boatload of stress and regret.
Been there — done that!
Go read how to set up a Christmas Budget, for steps to walk you through the details of outlining your Christmas budget.
2. Make A Plan
Make a plan for the season. In your plan, make sure to track every single thing you’re going to be doing this season. Write down all your added expense. Include all the people you’re planning to give to, any travel, extra food, party expenses, decorations, party clothing, charity donations, etc.
Make sure to get very detailed. Write every item, not just categories. Here are some examples:
- Travel – don’t forget gas, convenience store snacks, oil change
- Party Expenses – food, decorations, invitations, paper goods, flowers
- Gifts – presents, stocking stuffers, wrapping paper, bows
- Christmas Cards – cards, stamps, photos
Keep in mind that this is not all-inclusive. Really brainstorm everything you do during the season to get a clear picture of your expenses.
Once you have everything listed, assign each item a dollar amount and make sure it keeps you under your budget. You’ll need to keep adjusting and reducing. And, you’ll probably even find that you need to completely cut some things out. Remember, stick to that budget you set.
3. Keep Things Simple
If you can Simplify Christmas, believe me, you will have a much happier Christmas. Not only will it relieve your spending, but it will make your season easier and more joyful. Try to stop doing All-The-Things and evaluate what things are the most meaningful to you. We create a Simple Advent Plan each year because it just wouldn’t be Christmas without one.
Get the Christmas Traditions Reflections worksheet to help you figure out which things you can cut this year. And, read about How to Simplify Christmas for some ideas of things we’re cutting out.
Evaluate your family's Christmas Traditions with this FREE Christmas Reflections worksheet.
4. Collect Money Through the Year
There are many Tricky Ways to Stash Money even when you think you have none. You can do things like, collect all your coins, save gift cards from birthdays, withdraw a little extra each time you buy groceries, and even take some cash from your grocery budget.
I’ve been able to collect hundreds of dollars by using Ibotta when I go grocery shopping. I can either cash this out or take it in gift cards.
The point is, find every little way that you can to set money aside and keep it tucked away to use just for Christmas.
5. Get Money Back For Shopping
Those of us that are trying to save money on Christmas are keeping our eyes out for all the sales. But, that sometimes means we’re running all over the place trying to score the best deals. This can be pretty overwhelming and can cause a lot of that frazzled Christmas craziness.
By shopping online, there’s no need to run from store to store. And, if you use Ebates — not only will you get notified of sales and rebates — But, you’ll get $10 free, as a welcome bonus.
Read all about my Ebates Review to see how to save money.
6. Shop Throughout The Year
There are tons of things that go on sale throughout the year that you can pick up and stash away for Christmas. Nearly every store has a specific area that they put clearance items. Keep your eye out on the shelves, too, for things marked down that would make great gifts.
Put all those things away in a closet to save for Christmas. Each thing you find will be one more thing that you won’t have to buy in December.
You can even assign each person on your list to a month of the year and buy their gift then. It will radically reduce the hit you take in December. Or even, buy one gift card each month of the year and put those aside for Christmas.
7. Have A Potluck Party
This year, instead of buying gifts for all your extended family members, host a potluck party.
If you suggest to all your family members the idea of a party instead of gifts, you may be surprised at how well it is received. Nearly everyone is feeling the stress of the season, and maybe they’ve just been waiting for someone else to suggest it because they don’t want to come off as being cheap.
Be the one to take the lead. This will also help reduce your spending on food because everybody is pitching in. You could even make it desserts or appetizers instead of dinner to make things even easier.
8. Gift Exchange Games
When you get together with your family, consider playing a gift-exchange game instead of giving individual gifts. There are so many fun gift-exchange games and people really love playing them.
If you’re lost for some ideas, here are 10 Fun and Creative Gift Exchange Games. There are even printable rules and tags to go along with them. Every time we play one of these games, we end up roaring with laughter.
9. Make Gifts
By scouring Pinterest you can come up with a ton of ideas for Christmas gifts to make. Here are some of my favorites.
All these gifts are beautiful, fun, inexpensive, and easy to put together.
10. Give Gifts of Time
Many people on your list would love to get some time with you instead of another bath soap set, tool, or pair of slippers. Consider giving a gift of your time, especially if you’ve waited until the last minute. That’s usually when I make an impulse purchase that is outside my budget because I become desperate.
Get 30 different ideas for how to give gifts of time for Last Minute Christmas Gifts in this article that includes adorable gift certificate tags. Usually, these are the most meaningful gifts anyway.
As you can see, with a little forethought there are lots of ways to save money on Christmas. Most of these ideas are really fun, too.
Would you share with us some of your favorite ways to save money on Christmas?
Use these Gift of Time Coupons for the loved ones on your list.