Are you looking to save money for the holiday season and get the most out your budget? If so, this post is for you!
As you may know, the holiday season is here and similar to me, most people tend to spend a ton of money shopping for gifts. If you are looking for ways to save during this holiday season this post by guest author Andy from Penny Less Dad will share 15 clever ways to stick to your holiday budget and save money for this Christmas season.
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15 Clever Ways To Save Money For Christmas
1. Set Up A Budget Early
One of the best ways to get prepared for Christmas early is by setting up a budget. Now when most people think of budgets they think of “boring restrictions” but having a budget has saved my financial life in a fun way.
To get prepared for Christmas this year I designed one budget printable and one Christmas expense tracker to make budgeting fun during the holiday season. So far I am on track to stay on budget plus give my family some pretty amazing gifts. Grab your free Christmas budgeting printableS by signing up below.
2. Track Your Spending
One of the best ways to save money before and during the Christmas season is by tracking spending. An easy way to track spending is by having a printable to take with you while you shop to write down everything that you brought at the store for the day.
When I start my Christmas shopping this year I will make sure to take my Christmas Expense Tracker to make sure I don’t overspend on Christmas gifts.
3. DIY Gifts
If you are great a making your own gifts you can totally DIY some of your Christmas gifts for your family and friends.
Get creative and check out Pinterest to see what type of gifts you can make from items from Walmart or even the Dollar Store. You can also grab some gifts directly from the Dollar Store. There are a ton of gems at the Dollar Tree that can make awesome gifts.
Christmas gifts ideas you can grab from the Dollar Store are:
- Photo Frames
- Arts and Craft
- Coloring Books
4. Plan a Savings Strategy
You can also do a DIY (Do It Yourself) your savings. You just have to find out how much money you need this Christmas and New year.
Next, set up an amount that will be divided into debt payments and savings. For the month of December, you can definitely try out backward budgeting! With this method, as soon as you receive your paycheck you will set aside your Christmas savings amount. Then keep aside your debt amount, and follow up your other expenses as per their order of importance!
5. Talk With Family About Your Saving Plans
Things will be easy, and more beautiful if you tell your family about the debt swiping you are about to do, and how you plan to save money for Christmas at the same time.
Also letting your family know about your plans, won’t keep them in the dark but get them on board with your saving plans.
6. Pick Up A Side Job
One of the quickest ways to save money for Christmas is to pick up a side job! You can find opportunities to earn extra money almost everywhere. If you are in need of a second job, but can’t find the suitable one or you don’t have time to add part-time job due to the hectic lifestyle you lead, then here are a few ways you can earn money without getting a real job!
7. Regulate Your Spending Habits
It’s practically not easy, to maintain good spending habits but a helpful way to save money is to actually regulate your spending habits. My first suggestion would be to postpone your credit card usage and start paying with cash for every purchase you make. A key quote that I normally follow and tell to other people looking to get out of debt is:
“The last thing you want is incurring more debt while you are out clearing debts!” Credit cards are a menace that you surely want to avoid!
8. Do Your Christmas Shopping on “Deal” Days
Definitely get some of your shopping done on days that have “deals” such as Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. You will get the chance to do your Christmas shopping while saving lots because of the eye-popping deals. So make to use the deal days to gather all you want for Christmas.
9. Try out Promotional Reward Cards
This is that time when all the popular stores and retail outlets come out with promotional cards such as gift cards, incentive cards, and reward cards. Sometimes these cards carry some cool features on them, and with holiday season overheads, these stores do everything to attract customers!
So you can definitely try them out if you want to earn those loyalty points and redeem them to reap profits while shopping.
10. Sell Your Unwanted Items
This Christmas season you can sell all the ‘unwanted’ items that are piled in your house. These include any old pair of jeans, electronic goods, old furniture or anything that you don’t need anymore.
You can easily sell them off to a thrift store or on Craigslist to receive a lump sum that you can use in paying off debts and/or add to your savings for Christmas!
11. Have an Energy-Efficient Christmas
Make it a resolution to save energy this Christmas. Spend your holiday without taking up a ton of electricity consumption. By doing so, you will be able to reduce your electricity bills and save money. The department of energy has a great post to help you have an energy efficient Christmas!
12. Create Homemade Gifts
As your plans are high this year, you can switch to handmade gifts and save a ton of money. Though it will take a little bit more time and creativity you can surely save money if you make the gifts yourself. Another way to save is by creating decorations for your Christmas tree and home layout.
You can handcraft them by using papers, scissors, and glue! So plan out what gifts you will give to your loved ones and see if you can make some in your home yourself.
13. Have the Party At A Family Member’s House
If you are really looking to save a ton of money try hosting the Christmas party at a friend’s or family member’ a place this year. Most of the time your family and friends will understand your financial liabilities this holiday.
If you want to be debt-free, small sacrifices will definitely help you get there. #woohoo! So plan this year’s party at your friend’s or other family member’s place, and take the wine, cakes, and turkey with you!
14. Plan Frugal Dishes for the Christmas Party
Where does all the money go on Christmas? First the decoration, then the food! With Christmas, many families love to have big parties and to buy a ton of food.
To help save money during the holidays this year plan on dishes that won’t hurt your pocket much. So think about and choose a dish that’s tasty and budget-friendly.
If you search the internet, you will find loads of economical dishes. Also, USDA has a good page showing healthy, tasty and affordable holiday menus to help you out.
15. Start planning for the next Christmas
It’s never too early to start planning for the next Christmas. If you follow each of the steps to be debt-free in this post, there are high chances you will be able to clear your debts by next year.
So you have ample time in your hand to plan a big blast for the next Christmas! You can also shop for the next Christmas, this year, as the post-holiday sales really go high once the occasions are over! So that’s all buddies!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Andy is a contributor to the Oak View Law Group and contributes specifically on personal finance topics. You can also find him fielding queries based on money management topics on various online communities and social media platforms.