Christmas is our absolute favorite time of the year. Something about this season screams “happiness, joy, gratitude, blessed,” and all the cheery words you can think of. The smell of chocolate chip cookies in the air mixed with the smell of fresh balsam gets us every time! Don’t forget the Temptations Christmas album playing in the background (our favorite holiday memory tradition is listening to the Temptations while decorating the Christmas tree). Sometimes though, many people do not look forward to Christmas. Christmas can be very expensive and it can add-in unnecessary stress. But let us tell you, it doesn’t need to be like this. You do not need to break the bank for Christmas. It shouldn’t be a holiday where you feel like you’re going broke for the season. Here are some money saving tips for the holidays that help you feel at ease:
1.) Start saving now!
If Christmas is coming up sooner than later for you, we recommend to start saving now!! Here is a money challenge that can help kick start your savings.
2.) Shop throughout the year
This money saving tip will not mean much if Christmas is right around the corner, but sometimes shopping for an item a month at a time can save a great deal. It’s like stocking up for candy for Halloween when Valentine’s Day ends. You know you’ll be scoring the best deal on candy after Valentine’s Day because everything is on sale. Well, have this philosophy for when the sales roll around throughout the year for Christmas.
3.) Buy an artificial Christmas tree
Real Christmas trees can be very expensive, especially when you are going to have them for only two weeks. We’ve seen real Christmas trees that are pretty pricey. We understand it is not the same without a real Christmas tree BUT now days, they make artificial Christmas trees that really look like the real thing. It saves us tons of money every year AND now, most retail stores have those wall plug-ins that smell like the real smell of a Christmas tree! You can’t even tell if the Christmas tree is fake!
4.) Make it potluck style
Christmas dinner can be a little expensive as well. The turkey, ham, cranberry sauce, stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes, cherry pie you naaaaaaame it can really add up. Instead of you going alone with doing everything yourself for Christmas dinner, why not let everyone pitch in with a dish. Not only will this save you money, it can save you time by preparing. Have them bring their favorite Christmas beverage or dish and enjoy each other’s company.
5.) Instead of buying gifts for everyone in the family, play a game
We realized it’s the most expensive when you’re trying to buy everyone a gift in your family. Sometimes, you may feel obligated to buy everyone a gift because they got you a gift. What we do in our family is we play a “Dirty Santa Game“. You can set the rules. Our rules though include: don’t buy a gift more than $20. The gift has to be gender neutral. Set the gift in the center and put the number of people that are playing in a hat. Each person chooses a number and the number you choose is the order you pick out the gift. You choose a gift from the center, and the next person goes. They can either choose gift from the center or they can steal. It’s a pretty fun game! There are different Christmas games you can play that will not break the bank!
6.) Book your flight and travel arrangements ahead of time
Traveling during the holiday season can break the bank. The airline, rental car, and hotel companies know this too. We recommend you booking your travel way ahead of time to save the most money. We have another blog we wrote about called “Ways To Cut Costs on a Family Vacation| 10 Tips”. It’ll help you save money big time when picking and choosing the time of year to go. Go check it out.
7.) Have a budget and stick to it
If you have a budget of $500, then stick to it and don’t go over it. Have a realistic budget. Make a list of who you’re spending for and write the amount next to their name of how much you’re spending on them.
8.) Always search for a coupon code
If you like to shop online, more times there will always be a coupon code for whatever retailer you may be buying from Retailmenot, Groupon, and other coupon sites have coupon codes and coupons to help you save a great deal. We never spend without checking out a coupon code for an item.
9.) If you are crafty and creative, make the Christmas gifts
If you are one of those talented people that have a gift to be creative, why not make Christmas gifts. They are more meaningful when it is made from the heart anyway, right? Also, you can save a ton of money making the gifts. Pinterest is your best friend when it comes to handmade Christmas gifts. You can find all sorts of things to make on there. Pinterest is our best friend! Get creative!
10.) Price match with the different retailers
The great thing about the retail stores now, is they can price match with their competitors. If you see a lower price for the same item, you can let them know (but you have to show proof of it) and they can give you a lower price. These retailers want your business and they’ll do anything to keep your business, especially around the holiday season.
11.) Don’t wait till the last minute to shop
Never ever wait till the last minute to shop. 9 out of 10 you’ll be stressing like crazy because A.) you’ll be overspending and B.) you’ll be waiting in those long lines at the stores wishing you did everything earlier. Those lines are crazy!!!
12.) Use your cashback rewards cards to help with saving money
Many people, including ourselves, use our cashback from our rewards credit cards to help with saving money. We use our rewards credit card throughout the year for things we would be buying anyway like groceries, daycare, gas, utilities bills, etc. and we later redeem the cashback for Christmas. Those cashback rewards come in handy, let us tell ya!
Disclaimer: Using a credit card requires discipline and responsibility and we do not recommend using your credit card if you are going to be using it to spend money you do not have.
Let us know if there are other money saving tips that we are missing. Christmas is the time of year for fun and laughter. Enjoy those moments with your family and friends and tis the season to be jolly 🙂