Here are our best tips and tricks on how you can do Christmas on a budget and not have it feel any different from any other one from years past!
With shrinkflation happening all around us and most of us trying to be mindful of our spending, Christmas on a budget may be on the cards for plenty of us! Yet, is it something that we can do?
The simple answer is yes! The longer one we shall be analyzing today together, as this is a matter that needs our attention and, riding on the tails of another important holiday, something most of us might need more than we know!
To put it lightly, Christmas on a budget does not sound like a fun holiday, especially if you are not used to doing it in this manner! However, it is something that is possible, and, dare we say it, you can achieve it and have as much time as any other year.
You will just have to be mindful of a couple of things and be rigorous with yourself so that you do not stray from the plan! If you are ready to see our best tips for doing Christmas on a budget, make sure you keep reading!
Have you ever had to tighten the budget around a major holiday? How did you manage to achieve it? Do you have any other tips for doing Christmas on a budget? Leave us a comment with any and all thoughts about the subject!
Make up a budget and don’t stretch yourself too thin!
This is something that everyone says when it comes to doing Christmas on a budget, but it is also something a lot of them are not sticking to properly!
You may consider it a redundant piece of advice as “obviously you will make a list”, but it’s not about making a list but rather finding out your budget and then making a list.
A lot of Americans who have to do Christmas on a budget end up forgetting that the budget is the first thing to settle on. And with how busy the whole holiday is, you will be swept up in burying items and preparing for a meal, and the thought of budgeting may go over your head altogether!
So draw up a budget and stick to it! Of course, it’s easier said than done, but it is going to be great in the long run! The most important questions are: how much can you spend on gifts and how much on the holiday meal? After that, remember that these are just a couple of days of celebration, and you should not stretch your finances too much to cover it.
In the end, the holidays are only joyful if you do not have to worry about money after the celebrations as well! Do your calculations and find out the budget, then stick to it. Believe us, it is possible!
Gifts are about the gesture and not about quantity or price!
One mistake we see people making all of the time when it comes to Christmas on a budget is focusing too much on gifts! How many will they give, how expensive are they going to be, and what about the Christmas stockings?
You may be used to doing gifts in a certain way, but once you have to stick to a budget, remember that things have changed!
Not to mention, it’s not just about the gifts, right? You can still have an amazing holiday time without a ton of gifts and without having to spend a small fortune on getting everyone you know something.
Keep your gift-giving intimate and stick to those close to you: family and close friends! Cross out any extended family you’re not going to be seeing, any extra gift for cousin Lucy, and forget all about your colleagues and the like! You can mark the occasion with some gingerbread and some good cheer.
That way, you are both focusing your budget on being able to gift something you truly want to those most important to you, and you’re not falling prey to the capitalist holiday! Not to mention, some people feel obligated to give back even when they cannot, so the gift of “not giving” this year may be the best one!
The bottom line is: be intentional with your gifts and stick to your close circle! That way, Christmas on a budget will not feel like a chore!
Brand names are not all that!
We have to turn our attention towards the Christmas meal now, though this budgeting tip also refers to gift giving.
Given the holiday, you may be driven by the idea that you need the best, no matter what it is. And since the best has become synonymous with brand names, you see hoards of people battling in the supermarkets with their carts overflowing with food items and gifts. Do not be one of them!
Naturally, we all want the best quality items, but that does not mean you have to spend hundreds on one item! You can shop for alternatives, turn your attention towards store-name brands, and be able to get just as good, if not better, quality for a fraction of the price!
Splurge a little on that one or two things you really enjoy that you can really only get around this time of year, but forget the high-brand goods when it comes to everything else. Even better, if you have a wholesale store membership, think about how you can shop for the days after Christmas as well!
There is no need to get a 17-pound turkey, have a huge ham ready to go after, or make all the side dishes you can think of! Stick to what you and your family enjoy, and even if the menu is a little smaller this time around, you can still come through with a delicious meal. Brand names do not matter outside the packaging; what you do with the item does!
Budgeting is harder than it looks, and you should always write down your expenses to be able to track them down! This is why we recommend you get a budget planner to put all your thoughts in order. This one from Amazon is affordable and useful!
Never pass on a sale if you can!
This tip for staying on a budget has the caveat of a sale for something you need! Remember to be intentional with your purchases, and if you can get something on sale or for a discount, why not make the most of it? Keep in mind that it’s not something that makes you cheap or just looking for an easy way out; it’s you being mindful of your finances.
You can easily find items on sale that you can give forward this time of year, not to mention a ton of supermarkets are doing a lot of deals and sales as well! Make sure you can make the most of them, that you get your items on time, and that they are all useful for your celebration!
Be it that you are finding something to gift or that you are saving money when it comes to Christmas dinner, do not pass on a good deal, as it is what is going to help you stick to your budget!
Likewise, be flexible! Don’t limit yourself to just one item. You may be able to find similar items at a better price or for way less from another brand or in a different color. If you’re sure it’s going to be useful or appreciated, go for the option that can save you some money!
Lists are your friends: yes, check them twice!
We talked about budgeting and trying to stick to it, so now we get to talk about how you can do that! The answer is simple! Lists!
Even Santa has his own, so why should you not give them a try? Not to mention, Christmas shopping without a list sounds like a recipe for financial disaster.
Make your lists, and check them twice. This includes anything you may need help with presents, Christmas meals, activities you have planned, anything under the sun, and anything that you feel like you have to give special attention to and include in your budget.
Not to mention, writing everything down will also allow you to cross out any unnecessary spending and keep you in check when you start shopping for presents!
Don’t worry, you got this!
Need more tips and tricks on budgeting for your day-to-day life? Do not worry; The Money Place has got you covered! Read more about how to budget for different occasions by looking through our articles here!