Saving Money at Christmas.
Do you find Christmas to be the one big event that is financially stressful?
A lot of people will go out this year and buy lavish presents for their loved ones and put it all on credit. If only those people knew that with a bit of planning, you can have a happy holiday without all of the additional debt.
This is how we save money during the Christmas season:
Create a Christmas Calendar
Having a Christmas Calendar helps to make sure that we get everything completed on time and that we stay on budget. Without this calendar every year, I would be lost. I would definitely forget something and then be scrambling to pick up the pieces at the last minute.
Buy Gifts Throughout The Year
This is a big one. I am always looking for Christmas (and birthday) gifts all year round. By doing this, I can buy gifts when they go on sale and then just put them away until the big day. We have a yearly expenses chequing account at our bank and every month we put money into this account for things like Christmas, pet vaccines and other things that happen yearly.
That way when we see something on sale in March, we can get the money from this account to buy the item and then put it away until we need it.
Make Homemade Gifts
We started doing this 2 years ago and our families still talk about the gifts we made them, so I would say that homemade gifts are a huge hit around here! Not only are they thoughtful, but they are usually pretty inexpensive as well. We normally make baked goods like cookies and squares and then use pretty packaging to wrap them up.
Set a Budget
We have a certain amount for Christmas gifts every year and we have to stick to that number. Once we’ve spent all that we budgeted – that’s it! If we want to get something else for someone, we have to get it with other money. That could be from our allowances or by cashing in some Swagbucks for Amazon gift certificates.
No Gifts For Each Other
A few years ago, my husband and I decided that we would only buy each other gifts on our birthdays. If we want to give each other something on our anniversary, Christmas, etc. – that money has to come out of our allowances. I’ve found that this saves us a lot of money every year and it also makes the birthday gifts that much more special.
Use An Artificial Tree
As much as I love the smell of a real tree, cleaning up those needles all the time would drive me nuts. That, and I would rather spend $200 or so on an artificial tree that I can keep for years than spend $40-$50 on a real tree every single year.
Stock Up On Baking Supplies
I always take advantage of the sales on baking supplies in November and December. I buy as much as I need to last me about a year, since this is when baking supplies are the cheapest. Doing this saves us cash on the things that we use all year round, but only go on sale for such low prices around Christmas time.