All around the country, people will be in a frenzy over Christmas shopping. They’ll be piling up their shopping carts with decorations, wrapping paper, presents and treats. They’ll also be stretching their budgets to the limits.
Instead of finishing the year with an empty wallet and a maxed-out credit card, you should read these useful tips to cut down expenses this Christmas.
1. Make a Christmas Budget
One effective way to avoid overspending is to make a shopping budget. Take a look at your household budget to see how much you can afford to spend on extras like presents and decorations. See if you can trim other costs (groceries, gas, entertainment, etc.) so that you can give yourself more savings to work with. Then, do your best to stick with this shopping budget. Also take advantage of pre-Christmas and even after-Christmas sales. They are big opportunities to stock up on amazing Christmas ornaments at the best price possible.
Remember: it’s important to leave wiggle room in your budget. You don’t want to spend everything that you have and then deal with a winter emergency, like a frozen water pipe or broken water heater. If the worst happens, you can apply for online loans in Texas or a line of credit to handle serious problems whenever your budget runs dry. These borrowing options can be effective back-up plans when something goes wrong. It’s important that you use a loan or line of credit for emergency problems — not for more shopping.
Ideally, you should anticipate emergencies in your budget and leave yourself some extra funds just in case.
2. Get Creative
You don’t have to buy everything for the holidays. If you’re comfortable crafting, you can make anything from presents to wrapping paper to tree decorations. Take a look at some of these DIY ideas.
- Knit winter hats and mittens
- Bake tins tin of Christmas cookies, chocolate truffles or peppermint bark
- Make homemade bath bombs, soaps and scrubs
- Stitch tote bags or pillowcases
- Make garlands of leaves, paper rings, pompoms or beads
- Hang paper snowflakes off of banisters and trees
- Use natural options like pinecones and pine tree clippings
- Use edible options like hazelnuts, gingerbread cookies or cinnamon sticks
DIY Gift Wrapping:
- Make wrapping paper by drawing patterns on brown kraft paper
- Use old comic book pages or newspaper clippings as wrapping paper
- Make DIY gift bows using only staples, scissors and wrapping paper
- Find printable gift-tags online
3. Shrink Your Gift List
It would be really expensive to buy every family member, friend and coworker a gift this year. So, instead of draining your bank account, shrink your list.
Deciding on who to cut out can be tough. If you can’t whittle down your list, suggest a gift exchange as a savvy solution. That way, you only have to buy one nice gift per social group. You can also suggest a budget limit for the gift exchange so that no one (including yourself) feels pressured to spend beyond their means.
4. Rethink Holiday Celebrations
It’s not safe to go to a crowded function this year. The silver lining for this? It will save you money. You don’t have to empty your wallet on outfits, gifts, flowers, drinks, event tickets or food.
Think of safe, financially savvy alternatives to your usual celebrations, like virtual movie nights where you watch holiday classics or virtual game nights where you drink hot cocoa and sport your coziest winter sweater.
Your Christmas morning can be different this year. You can have presents under the tree, sweets in the stockings, and, most importantly, money still left in your bank account.