This year, if money is tight, try these tips to create a big Christmas on a small budget.
How to have a big Christmas on a small budget
I recently watched a Christmas Full House episode, where Uncle Jesse promises to give the best gift ever to a ungrateful Stephanie and Michelle. He plans to give it to them after they had opened up all of their other gifts.
What was this gift? Stephanie and Michelle began thinking of things like a trip to Toys-R-Us. At the end, the gift was a trip to the nearby homeless shelter. After seeing how much they already had and how much they didn’t need, Stephanie and Michelle became happier, even though they didn’t get all of the “perfect” presents they originally wanted. Those things didn’t seem important anymore.
The four presents rule
A fun way to keep the gift giving simple and down to a minimum is the four gifts rule.
- Something you need.
- Something you want.
- Something you read.
- Something you wear.
Saving Money this Christmas Season
Trade old toys (or other stuff) with friends.
That stuffed dog in your closet is brand new to your visiting cousin, and her old pony is great for your daughter’s new horse-craze. Holding a closet exchange is a great way to give back to others, declutter, and get new things you’ll actually use!
Give practical gifts.
Give gifts that will actually get used throughout the year! Try not to give gifts you know the person will have no use for after Christmas. Here are my favorite epic unique gifts under $25.
Shop at Goodwill and secondhand stores.
There are many high quality resale shops, that allow you to get name brand clothing for only a fraction of what the brand new cost is. I also love the app Poshmark, and I’ve been able to find new and like new articles of clothing at great rates! Use my code PVHFY to get $5 off your first order!
For family and friends, give one gift the whole family can enjoy.
For family gift-giving, instead of giving each individual a gift, give one gift the whole family can enjoy, such as a movie or game you know they will like.
Try Secret Santa.
This way, everybody will get something but its not crazy stuff. Of course, Mom and Dad can get everybody a little something, but Secret Santa is a fun way to control the gifts. Or even better, get friends/neighbors involved.
Cut down on over-priced Christmas decor.
Garage sales, December 26th, and Goodwill are fantastic ways to cut down on pricy Christmas decor.
Do it yourself.
Buy candy, a few nail polishes, and get some old mason jars and create cute DIY gift ideas! (Pinterest is a hot spot for inspiration!)
Don’t go into debt because of gifts.
It is just not worth it!
Stick to a budget.
Just like regular finances, create a Christmas spending budget. Set aside some money each month for Christmas spending.
Focus on what Christmas is about.
When you focus on the purpose of Christmas (Christ’s birth and giving to others), gifts become less of a priority!
Shop small business.
Shopping small business is a simple way to give back to the community.am
Complete random acts of kindness.
Instead of gifts for yourself/family, try random acts of kindness. Leave your waiter a giant tip, bake cookies for your local police or fire station, or pay for a stranger’s groceries. The options are endless, and can serve as a reminder that there is so much to be grateful for!
- Less gifts = less clean-up. Whoo hoo, its Christmas. Lots of presents. The day after Christmas – a mountain load of toys that were NOT needed. Less gifts mean less holiday after-stress.
- Less money = less stress. Going into debt for toys is completely
- Less entitlement, and a stronger sense of giving and gratitude.
- It doesn’t make sense to go into debt for gifts.
- You don’t need it. I am assuming your children have their basic needs met and a mountain of toys, books, and clothes. In truth, children don’t need much more.
- Christmas is about Christ, not gifts.