Christmas gifts can really leave a dent in your wallet. Gifts for your kids, spouse, family, friends and maybe even co-workers… It adds up fast.
If you’re on a budget, this time of year can be quite stressful. You may feel guilty or even embarrassed if you can’t afford to get everyone on your list a present.
Let’s take the pressure off your shoulders a bit. I’m going to share with you ten ways you can save money and still get all of your holiday shopping done.
How To Save Money On Christmas Gifts
A budget is just what you need to keep your spending in check this holiday season. It should always be the first thing you do when trying to save money.
Determine how much you can afford to dedicate to Christmas gifts and then how much of that you are actually willing to spend. Just because you can afford to spend a certain amount doesn’t mean you need to use all of it.
Create your budget before you set out to purchase anything. Be realistic about your family’s wants and needs. Don’t forget to include little extras like postage for cards.
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Make a List
Sit down and write a list of everyone you would like to get a present for. Then, check it twice. (Couldn’t help myself.) Remember to include people you will give extra tips to like the babysitter or your doorman.
If your list is long, you might need to prioritize who you buy gifts for. In my mind, children come first so I always make sure I get them something before I think about adults.
You may want to break down your budget even further and decide how much you want to spend on the individuals on your list. Doing this might help you to purchase something for everyone on your list instead of just some people.
One of the best ways to save on Christmas gifts is to get cash back. Ebates is a website you can use to do this. Simply, sign up for a free account and find the store you want to shop with through the Ebates website. Then, shop as usual.
You can also download the browser extension for pop-up reminders anytime you visit a website that offers cash back. It’s a really simple process that lets you spend less. If you’re not a fan of online shopping, you can also use the service to get cash back in-store as well.
Use Cash Only
I always advocate sticking to cash for purchases when you’re on a budget. It just gives you a tangible reminder that you don’t get when using cards. When you use credit cards you can make unplanned purchases. Then, you end up overspending.
Plus, you risk racking up charges if you don’t pay your credit card balance in full before the payment due date.
Withdraw the cash you need and when that’s gone, shopping is over.
Of course, as this is now December, it’s a little late to plan early for Christmas shopping this year. That doesn’t mean you can’t plan for next year.
Set aside money each month for the holidays and this will definitely minimize the stress of the season. When you plan early, you can also keep an eye out for bargains on toys or other items you can give as gifts. Things like wrapping paper or holiday-theme gift bags may also be cheaper out-of-season.
Shopping online makes it really easy to compare prices and find the best deals. Use websites like Pricegrabber.com to get huge deals or sign up for newsletters from your favourite stores. They will notify you about coupons or promotions that you can use on your Christmas gifts.
Instead of traditional cards, send eCards. They’re fun and free or really cheap. You’ll also save on postage especially for friends and family that live far away. Win-win!
Put together a gift basket with a bunch of smaller items. Together they would make a lovely overall package.
Who says you even need to buy a gift? There are tons of ideas for gifts you can make yourself. If you’re crafty and know people who love handmade stuff, a personalized present is a sure-fire way to make them happy.
If you’re good in the kitchen, whip up a batch of freshly made cookies or other goodies. Box them up and give them away. You can even package up the ingredients for your favourite cake or some other recipe and give them, along with the instructions, to a person who loves cooking or baking. Food is always a great gift.
Remember all those points you racked up during the year on your loyalty card? Most people completely forget about these cards and never claim the points. Don’t let that be you. Cash in your loyalty card points and use them to help save on your Christmas gifts.
The Thought Does Count
Sometimes, donating your time instead of buying a physical present actually means more to the recipient. Think about something they struggle with or really need that you can take care of. Offering to babysit or walk a friend’s dog can go a long way. Not only will they appreciate you taking the time out to help them, it will also let you spend less.
Your bank account doesn’t have to suffer just because you want to give Christmas gifts. Use these ten tips to help you save while still making your loved ones happy with their presents.
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