Believe it or not, you can have a debt-free Christmas.
You don’t want to be the one having a merry time singing, “Silent night, holy night! All is calm, all is bright,” and then later on it’s all pain because of the debt you have amassed in just a short period of time.
We want that same cheerful feeling to continue into the New Years.
According to this research, consumers spend an average of $1047.83 for the holidays in 2019.
Whether you’re a frenzied shopper that waits until the last minute to shop or someone who starts planning in the summer, these Christmas savings tips are going to be super helpful.
SET UP A CHRISTMAS BUDGET
Everything from shopping for gifts, Santa Claus hats, ornaments (DIY or purchased), photo cards to even ingredients for Christmas dinner needs to be budgeted.
You need to have a plan to help you to avoid overspending.
To get started, you need to answer these questions :
- How much did you spend last year? — This may seem unnecessary but it’s important since our goal is to spend less and have a debt-free holiday. With this in mind, you’ll see clearly the changes that need to be made.
- What is your budget and how much have you saved already?— Before you start shopping, you need to see what you are working with. Hopefully, you have started saving and if not you still have more time to do so.
After you have done that, you need to make an estimate of how much you can spend this time around.
Then work towards that goal and then create your list of things to buy!
BEST WAY TO SAVE MONEY WHEN SHOPPING
Rakuten – This one of my favorite cash back app! Since most holiday shopping is done online and no one got the time to be looking for coupons; this app comes in handy.
You can earn up to 40% back on purchases and get a selection of over 2,500 retailers to shop from including Target, Amazon, Travelocity, etc.
Sign up is pretty easy, only takes one minute and its FREE to get started!
Other cashback apps that you can check out are Ibotta and Checkout51.
Money Saving Browser
Honey – I have saved so much money using this browser extension especially on Amazon.
This automatically applies coupon codes to your carts and notifies you when a product price drops.
This browser extension works with over 30,000 retailers!
FASTEST WAY TO EARN MONEY FOR CHRISTMAS SAVINGS
Take Online Surveys
If you haven’t started saving for Christmas then you can take surveys for extra income to help you out.
Here are my favorite survey sites that are FREE:
- Survey Junkie – All about surveys! Start earning now by signing up.
- Swagbucks – earn points for things you’ll usually do for free such as playing games, shopping, watching videos, and taking surveys.
- Inbox Dollars – Get rewarded for taking surveys, watching videos, etc. In addition, you’ll receive a $5 bonus for signing up.
HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON GIFTS?
Give Baked Goods Instead
Do you love to bake? You can replace expensive gifts with edible ones.
This is a great DIY Christmas gift that is thoughtful and will be appealing to all the foodies.
You can also put your decorating skills to work also.
Examples of edible gifts would be gingerbread cookies, cupcakes or chocolate covered strawberries.
This is the act of giving a gift that you have previously received from someone else.
That could be a bottle of wine, handbag or even a blender.
When regifting, ensure that the gift is not used, will be likable, and always remember who gave you the gift in the first place.
This can be a great money saving tactic but must be done wisely.
You don’t want to take a gift that one of your friends gave you and give it to another friend that knows each other.
I mean, that would be a big slap in the face. Don’t you think?
Also if you’re going to regift edible items such as tea bags, or biscuits, ensure it’s not expired.
Draw Name For Gift Giving
If you have a lot of relatives it would be best to draw names. For example, my mom has 13 siblings so it’s impossible to give everyone a gift.
You can either draw names the Ole traditional way by writing names on a piece of paper and place it in a jar then shuffle or use a free online tool for this.
Whoever name that got picked, you’ll buy a gift for that relative or friend.
A rule of thumb, when buying gifts is to buy family gifts instead of personal ones.
Examples of family gifts would be mugs, board games, family pajamas, charging stations, etc.
For those whose names didn’t get drawn, you could send them a personalized gift card.
Shop at Dollar Store
The dollar store is not always the cheapest place to buy things but with that being said you can still find stuff at a reasonable price.
It’s definitely a great place to get stocking stuffers such as candy, ornaments, and even toys.
You’ll also find wrapping supplies and tape for cheap.
Start Shopping Early
The earlier you start your Christmas shopping, the best.
Because you’ll be able to prevent overspending and you’ll have enough time on your hand to find the perfect gift for everyone instead of rushing at the last minute.
This will allow you to spend more time on other things, making the Christmas season less stressful.
Do Your Shopping Online
Another way to save money on Christmas gifts is to shop online with the preference of choosing free delivery, store pickups, or delivering directly to the recipient.
This will definitely help you to stay within your budget, and save on time.
For cash back on purchases online, remember to sign up for Rakuten.
Buy Gift Cards
Gift cards make giving gifts much simpler and stressful, especially at the last minute.
Where To Buy Gift Cards?
GiftCards.com – Find various gift cards from popular brands such as Visa, Mastercard, Kohl’s, Dominoes, Game shop. The list is endless and you’ll definitely find something that would make the perfect gift.
Amazon Gift Cards – The recipient can buy anything off Amazon after redeeming it.
SAVE ON CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS
Do you know what else can be more expensive than buying gifts?
Food and drinks for Christmas Eve Dinner!
I mean, we all love having our family over but when you add up the cost for decor, activities, gifts, and then food it can be quite daunting to think about.
Instead of buying and prepping the food on your own, try doing a potluck.
This is a big game changer!
You can make the main dishes and ask everyone else to bring appetizers, sides, desserts, and drinks.
That way you won’t spend all your Christmas budget on mostly food.
Cheap Christmas Vacation Ideas
Another way to make this Christmas season memorable is to take your family out or for a vacation.
To save money, use Groupon to find amazing deals (up to 50% off) for local attraction spots.
Other cheap ways to spend time with your family this holiday is touring neighborhood Christmas lights, watch a Christmas movie with hot cocoa, doing Christmas crafts, caroling, sledding, and even baking together.
With these tips you can have debt-free holiday. The first thing to getting started is creating a Christmas budget and stick to it.
Some of the areas where you could cut back on expenses this holiday season is gifts and food.
And even if you’re late on your Christmas savings, you can start earning money by taking online surveys.