These steps and formula will help you decide ways to save money on Christmas gifts and what Christmas budget looks comfy for you.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Our time is filled with Family Holiday Traditions and busy fun…Yet the Christmas wish lists grow longer, the list of who to buy for gets longer with each passing day and you feel like the bank account simply can’t handle any of it. So your stress level starts to rise leaving you with a sense of hopelessness and despair.
Remember one of the biggest challenges when you are trying to save money is to overcome your mindset. Don’t compare yourself to others and certainly don’t try to “be like everyone else”.
As my money hero (aside from my dad!) says – Live like no one else so one day you can live like no one else- Dave Ramsey Let that sink in just for a moment…..
Well back to our topic of How to Save Money on Christmas gifts – my tips aren’t necessarily for doing Christmas cheap or even for cutting everyone off of your list. Keep in mind there are several simple ways that you can implement these steps now or even in the coming year for next years Christmas season. Many people are looking for a quick fix on doing Christmas cheap or learning how to save lots of extra money without doing a little bit of leg work. If you are willing to truly save on Christmas gifts follow me through to the end!
How can I save money for Christmas?
There are soooo many ways you can save money for Christmas gifts, meals, parties, activities and the list goes on. Today we’re talking mainly about how to save money on Christmas gifts – but I can guarantee you this formula and these steps can help you save on all aspects of Christmas!
1- Make a List: I say it with everything I tell you all when it comes to planning and doing but it’s so so so so true…make a list. Start by making a list of those you truly want or need to buy for. This will help you in planning not only gifts but in planning a budget.
2- Check your list twice: Why would I say this in step #2 already? Well let’s break down your list. Are there two people on your list that maybe are a married couple you could do a combined gift? Maybe a distant relative that you could combine a few names on the list and make it a family gift. Just look over your list and see if any names can be combined to turn it into 1 gift.
3- Prioritize that list: Now that your list is solid and where you feel comfy with who you are buying Christmas for – number your list. I know it sounds simple but let’s see how many are on your list. Now make another column of numbers for prioritizing that list. So for instance on the bottom of my list maybe our neighbors or even a family friend/ guest that I know will just be joining us for some of the holiday festivities that I’d like to gift something small to. Top of my list will be my husband, then our daughter…and you get the picture! Prioritize your list!
4- Write down ideas: Next to each name write down idea/s of what you’d like to get each person for Christmas. This will help you stay within boundaries and know exactly what you need to shop for. You won’t be fancied by different things you see when shopping – rather focused on this list and finding these specific items.
How much should I spend on a Christmas gift?
Well this question is all relative to who and what you are buying, right? That’s why it is sooo super important to follow steps 1-4 to get you to step #5. Now you’ll be able to determine within your own realms and boundaries of what is best to spend on a Christmas gift. There is no one solid answer for anyone – in my opinion. We all have different people, different gifts and different incomes that factor into this question. I’m hoping that you following these steps you’ll come up with a wise conclusion on your own!!
5- Budget for your list: Find out what your overall budget is for spending for Christmas gifts. Christmas on a budget can actually be a challenge and fun! Once we have that nailed down and you’ve got your list of people and ideas – next to each person list how much each gift will cost. Try to get as specific as possible.
6- Get creative: Now you’ve got your ideal list of people, ideas, budget and costs. Sometimes this is just a great way to get started and to get the ball rolling. Now you may want to consider getting creative on slashing prices for the list. Here are some ways we’ve gotten creative over the years with saving money on Christmas gifts.
- Combine: As mentioned in step number 2 when making your list – can you combine into a couples gift or a family gift?
- Homemade: What are your talents and hobbies? Can you do a homemade Christmas?
- Shop sales – having your list of people and item/s to buy when you see those items on sale you’ll save big $. Remember if you’ve done step # 4 you’ll be able to stick to your shopping list and not get side tracked by other gift ideas when shopping.
- Can you re-gift? Before you shut me down here – I’m not talking about the tacky gift you got from Aunt so and so last year…I’m truly talking about a gift you’ve received that maybe you already had something just like it or similar. Hang onto it and consider re-gifting it to someone on your list that would truly enjoy it.
- How many gifts? For our daughter we love sticking to the idea of 4 gifts. Sometimes I’ve stuck to the theme of: something to read, something you want, something you need and something to wear. Other times I’ve just stuck to giving 4 gifts. It doesn’t have to be 4…it can be 3, 5, 15 or 25 – whatever it is that works for you, just stick to it is my point.
- Shop throughout the year – My biggest tips for buying Christmas gifts is just spread out the buying so it doesn’t hit you all in one month! Consider budgeting Christmas into your monthly budget (unless you do a weekly or bi-weekly budget plan). Christmas is the same day every year so it’s not surprise to anyone as to when it arrives. Spread out your budget throughout the year and find those items on your list when they are on sale! Patience will pay off and you’ll find the items for cheaper than you jotted down on your list (refer to #5)
- Eliminate – Are there things you can cut back on? Consider not doing stockings – we all know those add up…or simplify your stocking items. Don’t buy extras – keep it simple, thoughtful and nice and you’ll be a winner!
Many of these tips can actually turn into healthy habits for a year round budget that is healthy along with better spending habits. Keep in mind this formula and process above and how it can affect the rest of your year!
Do you have any additional ideas I haven’t mentioned? I’d love to know and add them to the list so everyone can learn! Comment below and I’ll be sure to add it above! I love saving money as I know you do too – helping each other is more fun as a team!