Christmas on a Budget: 7 Tips from the Trenches

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With only a few weeks before Christmas we’ve got some tips to help you manage your budget, your spending, and your stress.

General Tip for All Occasions: Set an overall budget for Christmas then break down a budget for each person you’ll be buying for…and then stick to it. 

And now the Christmas ideas!

Tip 1: Try to think back on past gifts that were a big hit – we would bet they were thoughtful and meaningful rather than just being expensive. Planning a creative or unique gift that costs less is a great way to keep costs down and the joy up!

Tip 2: Consider doing something different this year. Traditions are wonderful, but shouldn’t cause financial stress. Create new traditions like family gift exchange, one gift from Santa, giving up the stockings for adult kids, or making your own gifts. 

Tip 3: Plan ahead and shop ahead but don’t buy (too much) ahead – often the gift giving fever hits and we have the tendency to buy even though we’re “done”. Make your plan and stick to it!

Tip 4: Combine forces for kids gifts. Too often gift opening can be overwhelming for kids – under the tree might look full to bursting, but that doesn’t translate to a better Christmas! Try thinking of fewer, more valuable gifts and then reach out to family and regular gift-swappers and see who would be up for going in on a gift. It’ll lower everyone’s stress, create wonderful memories, allow for less post-Christmas clutter cleanup, and keep budgets in line. 

Tip 5: Start purging the valuable items that you no longer use, and set up consignment or Facebook marketplace sales for those items – as they sell, put the money aside for Christmas.

Tip 6: Make before you buy. Consumables (food, homemade bath and spa items, candles, etc.) are all fairly inexpensive to make and are a huge hit during Christmas! 

Tip 7: Download a savings app that allows you to save on your schedule, (there’s even a function for you to save the change on purchases you make, rounding up to the nearest dollar.) 

When you’re doing Christmas on a budget, you’ll need to be a bit more creative and disciplined, but January will be a lot less stressful.