How to Have a Budget Friendly Christmas

by Marcy on September 1, 2013 · 0 comments

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The holidays should the time of year when you spend extra time with your loved ones, enjoy the fun holiday parties and reflect on what really matters in life. Instead we find ourselves stressing over how to buy the newest electronics, designer jeans and all those other expensive items. Christmas does not have to be expensive, nor does it need to be stressful. Creating a holiday budget will help to relieve the stress!

Here are 6 tips on How to Have a Budget Friendly Christmas:

1. Save in Advance – We all know Christmas comes around once a year and the date never changes. There should not be any reason why we are scrambling to afford Christmas at the last minute. Set up a Christmas budget every year and make it a point to add money to the budget every week, month or paycheck. Only add what you can afford. I set aside a set amount every month of the year for Christmas – I budget for extra food expenses and for my holiday cards as well. The holidays are stressful enough without the added stress of large credit card bills and planning ahead really eases this burden! Check out this 52 Week Savings Christmas Plan for more inspiration!!

2. Keep it Simple – Let your children know ahead of time that you will be keeping Christmas simple. If your kids are a older you can let them know upfront what the Christmas budget will be. Enjoy all of the holiday traditions and forgo the expensive gifts. Both your budget and your house will thank you!

3. Make Your Own Christmas Cards – Don’t hire a professional to do your Christmas photos. Take a family drive to an area with beautiful scenery and use your own camera. You can then create Christmas cards online for half the cost. Shutterfly is my favorite place to make my cards – they always offer great coupon codes during the holidays.

4. Buy for Fewer People – If you have a large list of people to buy for, start cutting the list down. You don’t need to buy presents for every person in your extended family. Look over your list and decide who you will not buy for this year. Instead of buying gifts for extended family make them cookies, bread or other homemade treats. Making these specialized holiday treats often mean more to the gift recipient than a generic gift card.

5. Find the Best for Less – Christmas should not be about buying the most expensive gifts on the market. In fact if at all possible try to avoid buying high-priced electronics during the Christmas season. Instead, make it a game to find people the best possible present on the smallest of budgets. Keep an eye out for Amazon deals , clearance items and DIY gifts you can make for your loved ones. I love to use Pinterest to find DIY projects and gift ideas for the holidays. Also, when baking staples start going on sale in early November, think ahead to ALL of your holiday baking needs and stock up on items such as sugar, flour, baking chips and more. If you have to make purchases later on when you are out of items, you will almost always end up paying more.

6. Use Layaway – Stores like Walmart and Kmart offer an interest free layaway plan during the holidays. Take advantage of these programs rather than using your credit card and you’ll avoid the credit card “hangover” that occurs when your bills show up after the first of the year.

What tips would you add to this list?

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