Whether you’re Santa or not, the pressure to buy gifts (and more gifts and more gifts) is strong at Christmastime. How can Christmas expenses be cut down so there’s no debt at Christmas?
A couple Christmas budget tips:
- Swapping gifts with another family. If that family has toys their children no longer play with and I have toys that aren’t played with too, why not swap them when the children aren’t around and wrap them as gifts come Christmas? Both sets of kids have new-to-them toys under the tree.
- As my kids know we’re not Santa, there is no pressure on us to buy them new presents. They are thrilled with pre-owned gifts from thrift stores or consignment shops. (My kids’ ages this Christmas will be 2 years to 11 years old. I didn’t expect not doing the Santa thing would have this perk included, but obviously I am not necessarily recommending it for others; it’s just worked well for us.)
- Do experience gifts. If we still want to have something to wrap representing the gift’s idea, we can buy a token gift from the Dollar Store. For example, if my gift is Thursday night walks around the neighborhood with one of my children, wrap a small bucket, write the gift idea on a piece of paper, noting that they can bring that bucket with on any walk to collect pretty stones or leaves along the way. That gift cost me $1.
- I know I do Christmas baking anyway, and it can add up during those 12 days of Christmas, how about a two-fer….wrap some of the ingredients either individually or in a basket and in the note on the top indicate that this is an invitation to my child to bake alongside me this Christmas season, using the enclosed ingredients. I know my daughter would love this particular idea! I’ll be buying the ingredients anyway; why not have them act as a gift too?
- If I’m going to be shopping online, using the filter called Honey which looks for any and all coupons or additional discounts that apply to my cart is so helpful. It saved me $150 when I ordered my kids’ uniforms on Lands End this year. It also works when buying on Amazon!
What are Christmas savings ideas you’ve loved? Comment below; I’d love to hear from you!