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Holiday decorations, trees, presents, stockings, expenses and bills.
Does this sound like your holiday past? You shop and shop checking everyone off your list. Only to get a huge bill in the mail just after the holidays.
But everyone had fun and really enjoyed their gifts…
Was it worth going into debt for? No, probably not.
You can have an amazing Christmas holiday without all the expense.
This doesn’t mean skipping out on decorations, presents, stockings, holidays meals or fun.
It means setting holiday goals, gift lists, a bit of do it yourself and saving money.
Save the holiday expense and stress do Christmas the smart way.
Just because you have 10 cousins, 4 sets of aunts and uncles, grandparents, a distant Aunt Suzy and some really great friends doesn’t mean you need to take out a loan to buy everyone the perfect gift.
Who said you have to host Christmas dinner, holiday breakfast and bake cookies for the cookie exchange? We all have limits on our time.
Oh and the stockings. Who really needs all that stuff? Stuff, stuff and more stuff. Try decluttering before the holidays.
No I am not knocking Christmas and all the traditions.
Infact Christmas is my favorite holiday. The tree, the decorations, the smells, the giving of gifts and the get togethers. I love all of it.
I simply believe you can do the holidays the smart way and skip the expense, the stress and still have an amazing time.
10 frugal ways to save money this Christmas:
1. Set limits
You don’t need to buy everyone a gift. For some people a card will do or a telephone call. Give gifts to those you really want to.
Set a budget for the gifts you choose to give and don’t go over. Aunt Suzy doesn’t really need four or five gifts – one will do.
Remember it is the thought that counts.
2. Do it yourself
Personally made gifts are great. The thought and caring that goes into a personally made gift is worth more than the gift itself.
Do it yourself gifts are a cost effective solution in a high priced gifting economy.
3. Make a list and check it twice.
During the holidays the number of events going on and activities are endless. You don’t need to feel obligated to go to and do everything.
Choose a few events and activities your family will enjoy. Remember you are aiming to save money and stress less this holiday season.
4. Bake it and exchange it.
Who said you have to make 12 different kinds of cookies and fudge for everyone to nibble on over the holidays.
Get a bunch of friends together and do a cookie exchange. Each person bakes or makes one type of cookie multiplied by the number of participants. Then you exchange. In the end you have a wide array of sweets and treats to enjoy over the holiday season.
5. Holiday dinner sharing.
Yes, in a perfect world Christmas dinner would be prepared and ready to serve as the guests arrive.
And no one said you have to make dinner all on your own. Save some money and stress. Potluck your holiday dinner or gather everyone together and cook the meal as a family.
6. Unstuff the stockings.
Who says the stockings have to be full of stuff? Stockings and stuffing has gone crazy. I have heard stories of stocking stuffers comparable with gifts.
Try filling the stockings with fruit and candy or a few small trinkets. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care.
7. Decorations of gold.
You don’t need to break the bank to decorate for the holidays. Do the decorations yourself. Hit the dollar store and the craft store and get creative. Simplify and make it memorable.
8. Boxes, boxes and bags.
I am sure you have heard stories or seen pictures of Christmas trees filled to the brim with presents. Set some limits to the number of gifts to give this year. Figure out what people really need.
Try giving experience gifts instead of stuff. Such as movie tickets or amusement park passes or recreation gift cards.
9. Draw a name.
If you come from a large family or your workplace is doing gifts. Put everyone’s name in a hat and draw one name and buy one present.
Plan your name exchange ahead of time. Set a pricing limit and exchange information. Ensure participation so that no one feels left out.
10. Pay it forward.
Skip the presents this year and the sales frenzy. Instead of exchanging gifts volunteer as a family or as a group. Deliver hot meal or do a toys for tots run.
Fill a shoebox for charity or as a family choose an angel tree name and buy a gift for them.
Pay it forward, find the real meaning of the holiday spirit.
You can have an amazing holiday season.
Christmas presents, trees, decorations and all without breaking the bank. You simple need a plan, improvise, set limits, stress less and enjoy.
I wish you a truly amazing holiday season,
Saving & Simplicity