Going into debt for Christmas is not an option for us Pearls! Christmas on a budget is the opposite of a bad thing! It means that you will have strategically told your money what you want it do this Christmas rather than wondering where it went.
CNBC.com reported last January that on average most Americans went into over $1,000 in debt for Christmas alone. It will take those families month’s to pay it off and will end up paying a ridiculous amount in interest. So much for that “black friday sale”!
If only they took 30 minutes to sit down and write out their Christmas budget…
Let’s talk about the strategies you are going to use this year to have an amazing Christmas on a budget!
- Basics of Our Family Budget
- How to Start a Cash Envelope System for Beginners
- How to Meal Plan for Beginners
- Monthly Real Life Family Budget Updates (REAL NUMBERS)
- Save Hundreds This Month With a “No-Spend” Month
7 Steps for Making Your Christmas on a Budget Rock!
1. Cash only
Let’s make a pact now that you will only use cash this Christmas. Meaning you will only use money that you have specifically set aside ahead of time. Repeat after me “I will not go into debt! I will not go into debt! I WILL NOT go into debt”.
2. Save ahead of time or use what you already have.
The best option would be to put away money each paycheck into a “Christmas Fund”. You can see in our family budget how much we put away each month into our cash fund for Christmas. The first year we started doing this was a game changer for minimizing the holiday stress!
Another bonus of having the money set aside ahead of time is that you can take advantage of sales all year long!
If you haven’t saved up (start now for next year!) then look at your bank account, figure out if there is some over time or side hustles you can work into the next two weeks, and figure out how much cash you can set aside for this Christmas on a budget.
Then that is the number and you have to stick with it! You did the best you could do for this year and you can make it amazing with what you have. It will be different, but depending on your attitude and outlook on what you really want the holiday to be about will make all the difference!
3. Write out a detailed budget
Sit down and write out every expense you can think of that you might run into this Christmas. The more detailed you can get the better. Every item needs a dollar amount.
If you don’t have enough cash for it all, get creative with a few DIYs, or find where you can cut back on your list. No room in the budget for a tree this year? Make one out of paper and tape it to your wall. Let the family help you “decorate” it. It’s not ideal but look what a valuable lesson you are teaching your family about managing your money.
Some examples of Christmas expenses would be gifts (family, friends, teachers, neighbors, church), decorations, food, parties, pj’s, gift exchange, school parties, stocking stuffers, lights, tree, cards & postage, pictures with Santa, donations, neighbor gifts, gingerbread houses, advent calendar, elf on a shelf,
4. Use Shoptagr to watch for sales for all the wish lists!
Shoptagr is an app and computer extension that will watch almost any product you want it to and then it will let you know the second it goes on sale or comes back in stock! Talk about set it and forget it! I use Shoptagr for any online purchase I am planning!
5. Shop secondhand and fix it up
I don’t understand why secondhand gets such a bad wrap sometimes. I love it! Though there are some items you probably want to stay clear of, especially if you are gifting it.
Go to a thrift store or search the online classifieds, find what you are looking for, make sure it is in good or great condition, give it a little DIY, and it has become a one of a kind piece.
6. Use service as your gift
What talents do you have that you could offer as a gift to someone? Get creative! Are you musical and could write a song for someone? Are you good at taking and editing photos and could offer a photo session as your gift? Maybe you are amazing at cooking! Gift your services to cater a family dinner!
Print off a cute card from Pinterest and pop in your service coupon. Priceless!
7. Stack the savings
This is one of my rules that I try my very best to accomplish for any purchase I make. When shopping look for sales, that can be stacked with either a coupon or discount code. That is how you will be sure to get an amazing price! But do your research because a sale is not always a good price!
What are your tips for making Christmas on a Budget work?
Do you have any tips or traditions that you love to do that still help you save money during Christmas? I would love to chat with you about it down in the comments!
Thanks for stopping in! Talk to you soon! Xoxo