Saving money at Christmas sounds impossible but it doesn’t have to be. With a few simple changes, you’ll have more money in your wallet, less holiday stress, and still all the eggnog lattes, mistletoe, and elves on the shelves your heart desires.
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How to Save Money at Christmas
For families feeling the pinch of the economic recession, here are some helpful tips to relieve the financial pressure
With the holidays fast approaching and the mounting financial pressure attached to it, it’s important to remember that buying a gift for every family member doesn’t have to be necessary. This is especially true if the money just isn’t available this year.
The Christmas season, with all its hustle and bustle, can quickly become overwhelming. Advertisements are plastered everywhere, all urging the customer to get the best deal. Malls and retail outlets are flooded with confused and upset shoppers, all frantically hunting to find that perfect gift for their special someone.
Why can’t Christmas shopping be more enjoyable and less frantic? Saving money at Christmas is possible; many people just don’t realize it.
There are easy ways to save money on Christmas gifts, as well as other ways to save money at Christmas. Let’s get to it!
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Saving Money at Christmas: 5 Ways to Be Frugal and Festive
1. One of the Best Ways for Saving Money at Christmas: Secret Santa
Do you feel pressured to buy all your loved ones Christmas gifts each year?
This can really add up.
Choosing to do Secret Santa this year will save a lot of money on Christmas gifts.
The Secret Santa gift exchange is a popular method used during the Christmas season. Here are some suggestions to make a simple system even more trouble-free, which is exactly what one needs at an already hectic time:
Gather the family together and decide on a spending amount that everyone is comfortable with. Setting a financial limit will also teach one to be creative when purchasing a gift.
Create a sheet with basic questions that each family member fills out and puts in a jar.
An Example Of What The Secret Santa Sheet Could Include:
Three favorite stores
Shirt size and pant size
Your favorite musician
Favorite film or television series
Scents you like
Something I’ve been secretly wanting
Even after looking over the list provided, some people are just super hard to buy for (my dad, I’m looking at you!). The gift card option provides a foolproof solution to anyone still stumped after looking over the list provided.
You can also check out this bomb list of gifts for dads who want nothing if that’s who happens to be your Secret Santa.
Not only does this style of buying gifts relieve financial pressure, it can also be a fun Christmas bonding activity.
Writing out answers to the questions can be a fun time and help you realize what you really want this Christmas. Also, there’s the anticipation of finding out who your secret Santa is!
2. Use a Cashback Site to Save Money on Christmas Gifts
This tip for saving money at Christmas is a biggie. You can save lots of money at Christmas if you do it.
Join a cashback site (Rakuten is the most popular and the one I use myself) and get money back on your online shopping. It’s super simple.
Make an account, and then instead of going to Sephora or Walmart or Target online, first you go through Rakuten, then to the site you want to shop at.
As a thank-you for going through their site, Rakuten gives you cash back into your account, usually from 2% to 15% of your purchase. This can really add up to a ton of savings!
The only downside of using a cashback site is remembering to use it.
There have definitely been times when I bought something online, and then remembered after that I should have gone through Rakuten. Whoops. I don’t like losing out on money.
Sign up for Rakuten here and they’ll even give you a free bonus just for signing up.
And you can use Rakuten to save money on online purchases year-round, not just at Christmas.
Related reading: 7 Easy Ways to Earn Extra Money in Time for Christmas
3. Give Second-Hand Gifts
There is no shame in the second-hand game.
I mean, maybe don’t get someone a broken keyboard or flannel zebra jammies.
Other than that…
There is nothing wrong with a second-hand gift!
You can talk about it with your family or friends ahead of time and propose a second-hand gift Christmas this year. Either shop at thrift stores, or even gift gently used things from around your house.
One year a friend proposed that we gift each other’s kids with books from around our house. That was a huge hit for all. Kids got new-to-them books, and us parents got to pass along books we had read something like a grillion times.
Related reading: Social distancing Christmas – How to Keep the Christmas Spirit
4. Having a List Will Help Save Money at Christmas
Having a Christmas shopping list keeps your holiday spending on track, period.
It is exactly the same reason why having a grocery shopping list works for saving money on food. If you have a list, you avoid all those add-on impulse buys which can really add up.
Christmas is such a fun time of year to buy. But if saving money at Christmas is really important to you this year, write out a list of what you want to get each person you’re buying for.
By sticking to a Christmas shopping list, the time spent shopping can be greatly reduced along with the temptation to spend on unnecessary items.
Related reading: Christmas Budget: How to Make a Budget You Can Stick With
5. Focus on What Is Most Important at Christmas (Hint: It’s Not Spending Money)
Gifts are fun, but there are more important aspects of the season.
Christmas is a time of celebration, a time to come together for both friends and family. Don’t let the commercialism of this wintry season dampen the holiday spirit.
Bonus tip for Saving Money at Christmas:
Christmas can bring out the crafty vixen in many of us glue-challenged folk. Why not make your Christmas gifts this year.
With the explosion of maker-culture in the last decade, there are so many cute DIY Christmas gift ideas. I put together a list of my favorites here: