Are you on a budget this holiday season? Are you looking to make it through the holiday season without going into debt, but you still want to enjoy the gift giving experience that accompanies a traditional Christmas celebration? It is possible to have a magnificent family Christmas and still stay at or below budget, and I have seven great tips to share with you to help you celebrate Christmas without going over budget!
7 Tips for a family Christmas that doesn’t break the bank
1. Plan well ahead
Chances are you can still get some closeout holiday decoration items from last year. We’re talking about holiday ornaments, table cloths and place settings, and of course wreaths and other adornments.
I love to shop the after-Christmas clearance deals in late December or early January, saving 60% or more on my holiday décor!
2. Shop on auction sites
Start shopping for holiday gifts before the season is in full swing. Use auction sites like eBay to buy many of your gifts. You can buy them gently used or brand spanking new and save a bundle.
Check out these great ideas for unique gifts that won’t break the bank.
3. Get a family gift
Depending on how old your children are, they may understand the concept of a budget. If they’re old enough to understand, pose the idea of a family gift to them instead of individual gifts. If you spend, for example, $300 on a family gift instead of spending $100 per person, you’re saving $100 on a four-person family and more if your family is larger.
We are all about the ‘family gift’ at our house, even asking our extended family to give one ‘group gift’ rather than multiple smaller gifts to each person. It not only can save money, but it also cuts down on clutter and allows for the bigger ticket items to be enjoyed by all.
4. Have everyone bring something
If you host a family Christmas get-together, instead of making the entire meal yourself, have others bring a dish to pass. You can make the main course and set the table; the rest is up to your family members.
Almost all of our family get-togethers over the holidays are potluck-style with the host family providing the main course while the other families each bring a side dish or dessert. It’s a great way to spread the expense of a holiday party without having to give up the gathering due to cost.
5. Simply scale down
Ask your family members and children specifically to choose one gift they want this year instead of ten. Ask them to keep to a specific dollar amount. Children understand that the holidays are about more than getting gifts.
If your kids are like mine, they have more “stuff” than they need. We’ve started sharing “out-of-the-box” Christmas gift ideas with relatives who want to give gifts to our kids, and it’s been enjoyable for everybody involved to give and receive these unique gifts that don’t create clutter!
6. Make some gifts
If you’re crafty at all or an artist, make some gifts for people. If you’re a photographer for example, take a photo, frame it, and give it as a gift. If you like to knit, knit holiday stockings for other family members. If you’re a cook, make them some delicious salsa or bread. They’ll love the personal attention.
7. Trade and barter
One great way to get original gifts at a low price is to trade or barter with others. If you have a particular skill or service you can offer, that makes it much easier. For example, if you have a friend who owns a toy store, you can offer to work in the store in exchange for toys.
There are many creative ways to make the most of this holiday season without spending a fortune. Use your imagination and plan ahead.
How are you saving money this holiday season?
original photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/caitlinator/5296164365