Christmas on a Budget: 8 Tips for an Affordable and Stress Free Christmas

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Christmas is fast approaching (yay!), and although it’s one of the most joyous times of the year, it’s also one of the most expensive! And that can bring on excess stress, which we don’t need.

To prepare for Christmas on a budget, I wanted to share my tips with you how to get amazing gifts without breaking the bank.

1. Start shopping early. As in, months in advance. I know people who start Christmas shopping in July! This spreads out the cost over time instead of bulk buying all at once. It also saves on stress! Being done early and not having to get those last minute gifts will save you worry and money.

2. Put money aside into a special savings account/cash jar. I have a specific savings account just for Christmas money. I’ve set up automatic withdrawals to transfer money for me, so that money is sitting in that account but I don’t see it and am not tempted to touch it until I need it. You can also take cash out at regular intervals and save it in the house in a special place where no one will find it. Come up with how much you want to save by what time and it will fit much more seamlessly.

3. Make gifts. Believe it or not, gifts that are hand-made really do tend to mean a lot more and don’t necessarily say “cheap” when done right. If you’re not super creative, think about giving someone a nice picture frame with a favorite photo in it. Or look at ideas on Pinterest! It’s very personal and heartwarming! A word of caution: stick to simple things. Big DIY projects can look easy/beautiful but can be much harder than expected and the costs of DIY projects can add up quickly.

4. Join store email lists. Some stores even give a discount code for doing this! Getting emails from your favorite stores will let you know who is having a sale, how long the sale is for, what’s included, etc. You can get extra discounts and advance notice this way so you can get something you’ve been eyeing before it sells out. If you don’t want a bunch of emails in your inbox, create a special email to use just for the holidays and delete it after, or just unsubscribe from everything!

5. Use eBay and Groupon. Y’ALL, a TON of things for sale on eBay are BRAND NEW. They’re just discounted to sell. Some people have a big stigma about shopping on “second hand” sites, but you can get amazing deals just by shopping there. You can even get gift cards for less! Always make sure to read descriptions thoroughly and reviews for the seller, but this is a huge way to save. And Groupon has a TON of gift options. You can gift manicures, massages, facials, clothes, home decor, even a trip if you really want to! The options are endless, and they’re way more affordable than just general every day life. Bonus: If you’re a student, you can get a 20% discount on top of the Groupon price! A lot of places offer student discounts, so just google it!

6. Take advantage of online shopping. Stores still have cyber week deals going on online right now! This means you don’t have to brave the craze of the stores to get good deals, which is definitely my style. I abuse my Amazon Prime membership during the holidays because it’s so nice to order something and have it arrive in 2 days. And most places offer free shipping around the holidays so that helps a ton as well.

7. Make a list and set a spending limit. Know who you’re buying for and how much you have to spend and don’t go over that. To help with this, I highly recommend using cash whenever possible. It’s much easier to stick to your limit if you’re physically spending the money and watching it go down. If you go in with a plan of attack, it helps a ton to go for exactly what you’re there for to help prevent those pesky impulse buys when you’re “just looking”.

8.*TRY* to only buy for others, not yourself. I am so guilty of Christmas shopping for myself when I’m shopping for other people, I know how hard it is!. ‘Tis the season to treat yo’self, right? But this is where things get really costly really quickly! Those impulse purchases really add up. Keep in mind who you’re shopping for and take yourself off that list! If you really see something you like, tell someone to get it for you.

What are your ways to save on Christmas spending? Let me know in the comments below!

Have an awesome day!

XO,

Dani

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