Hello again, my festive friends! Day 3 of Blogmas and so far we are 3/3 on the daily posts. Way to go, Lauren! I must say I am pretty proud of myself haha.
We all know that the holidays can get pretty stressful for a whole lotta reasons (more on how to deal with that holiday stress in another Blogmas post) but one of those reasons being spending money and budgeting. It is the season of giving and we all have those people that we need, or want, to buy for during this time. I have a large family to buy for and I always question how on earth I am going to be able to afford to buy everything that I need to. Bills don’t just disappear because its the holidays… wouldn’t that be nice if they did though? A girl can dream lol. Adulting is hard, folks, let me tell ya haha.
With that being said, it requires a lot of budgeting and saving, on my part, to partake in the holiday gift giving. It is always worth it to me though, because I enjoy giving and showing other people how much I love and appreciate them. With that, here are some tips and tricks I have come up with to help you ball on a budget this holiday season while simultaneously saving a few dollars.
First things first, it is important to remember that the holiday’s aren’t all about the gifts. It’s not about who has the coolest new MacBook or the biggest tv… It’s about spending time with the people that you care about. It’s about making memories and new holiday traditions to share for years to come. As long as you know, going into the holidays, that whatever you do or give is more than enough… you’re in for a magical Christmas.
- Prioritize, make lists. Who do you need to buy for? How much do you want to spend? Without a list, you’ll end up buying 10 gifts for Sally before you buy one gift for everyone else. Make a list and stick to it. 1 well thought out gift is better than 5 random gifts you bought “just because”.
- Set limits. I always questioned, when I was little, when my mom and Tim would put price limits on the amount of money they were spending on each other for Christmas. Now that I am an “adult” I can definitely understand LOL. My sister and I set a price limit on gifts this year and it makes it easier to plan how much money you have to spend on each person. It doesn’t have to be a high limit either. $20/$50/$10… you name it.
- Get creative. So much YAS to this. Pinterest is your lifeline here. There are so many creative, fun, easy gifts that require little to no money to create. A sentimental, thoughtful gift will go a lot further than the latest “must have”.
- Use your talents. Good at knitting? Cooking? Photography? Use the strengths that you posess to give towards others. Make someone a cute scarf or put that cute photo you took in a frame. Baked goods are a great holiday gift when wrapped up all cute. They are a perfect gift. Make a big batch of holiday treats, divide them up, and you have an easy gift for several people made all at once.
- Sell what you don’t use anymore. Have clothes you don’t wear? Toys the kids don’t play with anymore? Try selling them for a little extra cash. Platos Closet takes slightly worn clothes for cash. Poshmark is a popular, relatively new site to sell your well-kept shoes, clothes, and bags. Craigslist. Ebay… you get my point. What you do sell, you can put the money towards gifts. What you don’t sell, but still don’t want, you can always donate to those in need. A win-win.
- Suggest a holiday gift exchange instead. This is something we always did growing up on my mom’s side of the family. She has 6 brothers and sisters, who have their own kids, who now have their own kids. So instead of buying a gift for every. single. person- every family always bought a gift with a $20 limit. Then we would take turns choosing a gift and switching them around, wrapped, between ourselves. This always made the holidays fun while still being mindful of how much we were spending.
- Have an “eat what you have” week. Now you may be thinking what the heck is that? Well, instead of making your weekly grocery trip, have a week where you eat what you have already in your fridge, pantry, and freezer. Thus, eating the food you already have and saving yourself a few dollars on that costly grocery bill. The money you save there could be put towards holiday giving.
- Cut out unnecessary spending. Now, I know this may be hard to believe but you do not NEED Starbucks’ coffee every single day (…I say as I eat this dunkin donuts breakfast sandwich and drink my coffee… oops). Same goes with eating out for lunch and/or dinner. Save money by opting to eat at home or bring your lunch instead of eating out the next 23 days. The money you save can be put towards your holiday spending too.
- Start a change jar. Fill your jar with any jingle you have laying around your house, in your car, pockets, or find on the ground… Come Christmas Eve, when I know a lot of you will be doing your last minute shopping, you’ll have some extra cash.
- Use cash back sites/member deals. Some popular sites, like Ebates, allow you to shop online and get cash back for your purchases. Other places like Starbucks and Kohls, give you cash/stars for every dollar that you spend. Those can really add up, so take advantage.
- Scope out the best deals. Let’s be real. You can find the same things at so many different stores. However, some places do have better deals than others. Before you go and buy, check out whether that new pair of wireless beats are cheaper at Walmart or Best Buy. Save yourself a few dollars and get the best deal. I’ve never been the type of person that is like “omg, I need to find the best deal…get this for as cheap as possible..” but at least be smart about your purchases.
- Opt to make memories instead. Instead of buying gifts, why not focus on making a lasting memory instead. Take a day trip somewhere to spend the day together. Go into NYC and see the Rockefeller Christmas tree, or see a show on Broadway. Yes, these things still cost money but you will simultaneously be making memories together as well.
And there you have it… a few tips and tricks for gift giving on a budget during the holidays. It is so easy to get caught up in all the gifts and holiday spending that we can easily lose focus of what is really important. No one is gong to care if you don’t get them the new iPhone 7 plus and instead give them a thoughtful, homemade gift that you made yourself.
Focus on the memories and the moments spent with the people you love and I promise you you’ll have a magical Christmas- no matter your budget.
How do you save $$ during the holidays? What tips and tricks do you have for budgeting during the Christmas season? (Don’t forget to “like” this blogmas post/share/ and “comment” for a chance to be entered into my Holiday Giveaway!!)
Happy Holidays, XO