If you want to keep rocking around the Christmas tree without racking up the Christmas debt, be more thoughtful in your spending and saving this season. How? Good question. We’ve got 25 answers for you right here. Keep reading for money-saving Christmas tips.
1. Develop a gift-giving philosophy.
Normally, our first suggestion in every instance of life is to budget. And we’ll get there. But before you budget, our very first Christmas tip is this: You’ve got to create your Christmas gift-giving philosophy.
What does giving mean to you? Is it about finding the perfect presents? Do you hope to impress others with how much you spend on them? Or do you feel obligated to buy for people? These motivations (and others like them) can really shape how you view the season.
Be honest with yourself and think about why you’re buying presents before you think about how you’re going to pay for them all.
Now, the way you become the hero of the holidays is by budgeting. That’s right—if you want to stay on Santa’s nice list, set a limit for how much you’re going to spend and stick to it.
3. Track your spending.
So, lots of people spend like crazy throughout December and never check in on their budget. They just think, I’ll worry about it in January. Future you has some advice here: Don’t. Do. That. Track your expenses as you go so you don’t end up overspending and ruining this month’s and next month’s budget.
Hmm? Upgrading your budget sounds like the perfect present to give that special someone on your list—you!
4. Rein in other spending.
According to our State of Personal Finance, American families plan to spend $1,300 on Christmas this year.
First of all, you don’t have to spend that much. We want you to know and own that truth. Don’t spend outside of your comfort zone this season or any season.
But what about the money you do need for Christmas? If you’ve been shopping all year or stashing cash into your Christmas sinking fund, you might be set. But if not, you’ll have to find that money somewhere else. The first step here is to move money around in your budget—spending less on some categories in December to make up for the extra Christmas celebrations.
5. Choose time over money.
There’s an old saying that goes, “It’s the thought that counts.” For some people, the thought of spending time together really is better than the joy of a physical gift. You can save money this year by being intentional about being together—in whatever way you can, whether that’s in person or virtually. This year, value experiences over accessories and conversations over clutter.
*Written by Ramsey Solutions