Christmas can be costly, with the average person spending around $1200 on gifts, food, and decorations. However, there are ways to keep your holiday affordable. Here are a few tips to help you create Christmas on a budget and reduce Christmas spending.
How much should you save for Christmas?
Well, it all varies per individual and family traditions. Decide on an amount you are going to spend per person you need to purchase a gift for and then calculate Travel Plans, Hosting Dinner, Decorations,
How much should I save per week for Christmas?
For example, let’s say you have ten people you will need to purchase for, and you decide your limit is $40 per person. That’s $400.00. You choose to Host a Turkey Dinner during the holidays, that’s going to be an easy $100.00 in groceries, and your family tradition is to purchase a new Christmas Hallmark ornament. $100.00. That’s $600 in total. But you are a mom to two kids, and $40 per child maybe won’t make it, so that you would need a budget for those two on your list, and possibly your husband wants something way more than the $40 you decided on earlier. So let’s say your immediate family will be $1000.00 and the $600 for other people and dinner.
So Your budget would be $1600.00, and there are 52 weeks per year, $1600 divided by 52 is $30.76. Or, if you want to save for the year, it is $133.33 per month, which would be the amount you should set aside for Christmas.
Expenses to consider when creating your Christmas budget
- Gift Purchasing for Non-family members ( teachers, neighbours, office)
- Shipping gifts
- Food- both for Christmas dinner and everyday snacks/meals during the holiday season
- Entertaining dinners
- Elf on the Self
- Holiday Photos
- Stamps for Christmas cards
- Charity Donations
- Travel Costs (fuel, airfare, lodging)
- Decorations, including things like ornaments, lights etc.,
- Seasonal clothing ( Ugly Christmas Sweaters, New clothing for Work party etc.)
- Extra Tips for the holiday season (waitress, hairdresser, etc.)
- House Cleaner
- Holiday Baking ingredients
Is the Christmas budget saving money?
Yes, having a Christmas budget can save you money. By setting aside a certain amount of money each week or month, you can avoid overspending during the holiday season. This can help you stay within your overall budget and avoid spending money to go into credit card debt from over-gift giving.
Make saving money automatically.
With a monthly automated withdrawal on separate accounts, it should be easy to make a small amount towards Christmas. Put Christmas savings into your monthly budget and automatically transfer money back to savings shortly!
Talk to your friends and family.
It might be embarrassing at the thought of it, but be upfront and ask if there’s a gift budget or suggest there should be one in place – especially when it comes to Adult siblings or extended families such as nieces or nephews. It’s best to have the discussion earlier in the year and not during the Christmas season. Remind people about credit card bills, and the whole Christmas season should not just be about Christmas shopping and hot chocolate.
Draw names & save on Christmas Gifts
Another common way of saving on gifts is by drawing names. It’s particularly beneficial if you work on a minimal budget. Drawn names help families focus on the person rather than material expectations. Often, families draw names at a family event earlier in the year, such as Thanksgiving or summer.
There is a Budget Expectation Example $25 to $40 most of the time – it could be more or less depending on what the family agrees on.
Some Families – Have a Kids Name Draw and an Adults Name Draw.
Some call it the Secret Santa. It works because everyone who wants to participate puts their name into a hat. Then, each person draws a name from the hat and buys a gift for the person whose name they drew. The key is that the gifter keeps the identity of the giftee secret until the end when everyone reveals who they bought gifts for.
Regift Unwanted Gifts
Suppose you receive a gift that you do not want or need. You may want to consider regifting it. Regifting is when you give a gift you have received to someone else. Or Gift out items you can not return because you missed the date, or perhaps it wasn’t worth the money to return.
There are a few things to keep in mind if you decide to regift presents to help with doing Christmas on a budget.
- Make sure the item is in good condition and still functional. Nobody wants a half-used bottle of body lotion or a pair of socks with holes in them.
- But if you got given perfume and didn’t like the scent once on, that would be perfectly acceptable to regift. You may have to find a creative way to wrap it if missing the packaging.
- Ensure the item is appropriate for the person you are giving it to. It’s probably not good to regift a kitchen appliance to your boss.
- If the item has a tag or price tag, remove it before giving it to the new recipient. Nobody wants to receive a gift with the previous recipient’s name still on it.
- Be aware of who is giving gifts at your next party or gathering. You don’t want to accidentally regift something to the person who gave it to you in the first place!
Christmas on a budget: The Gift of Time
One thoughtful and low-cost way to give a gift is to offer your time. You can contribute to babysitting, dog-sit, running errands, or doing yard work for someone. If you have a particular skill or talent, you can offer to teach a class, give music lessons, or bake cookies. You can also contribute to doing a home repair or painting a room.
Save on wrapping paper.
Reuse last year’s wrapping paper, use brown craft paper or even the Sunday comics! Be creative and save money by thinking outside the box. Some people sew Christmas fabric bags or reuse gift bags from previous years.
Start purchasing next year’s wrapping paper, bows, and ribbons starting on boxing week. It’s a great way not to overspend.
Save on Christmas Decorations
One way to save money is to make the ornaments or garland yourself. You can make ornaments, wreaths, and other festive decorations using materials you already have around the house. If you buy decorations, shop for them early in the season when they are on sale. Also, look for clearance items after Christmas when stores try to get rid of their holiday inventory.
Another way to save money is to keep an eye open for them at thrift stores, garage sales or on Marketplace, Kijiji, for people who are moving and are selling everything they own. You may even find a slightly used Christmas tree.
Look for deals all year round.
Keep a list of everyone you will probably purchase a gift for and start looking for deals during the year, whether for stocking stuffers or something to create a gift basket with. Watch for store closures or clearance sales. The most significant clearance sales happen during seasonal changes – January and September, but you can always find point deals at Shoppers drug mart or other stores, where you can get a few items during the year. Many people start purchasing Christmas gifts on boxing day.
Excellent items to watch for can be easily used as great gifts and generally can be cheap Christmas gifts when found on sale.
- Family Games – Monopoly, Operation, New card games, Yahtzee
- Lego sets
- Barbie apparel and accessories
- Craft Kits
- Crayons, Markers, chalk
- Bedding Sheets, Pillowcases
- Kitchen dishcloths, Oven Mitts
- Socks, Underwear
- Chapstick, cosmetics, skincare
- coffee beans, specialty tea
- Personalized Mugs
- Onesies for babies
- Costume Jewellery or even fine Jewellery
- Graphic Tshirts
- Phone chargers
What is the four-gift rule? and how it may help with Christmas Gift Spending
The four-gift rule is a money-saving strategy for Christmas presents. The idea is to limit yourself to giving four gifts: Something they need, something they want, something to read, and something to wear. This can help you avoid overspending on gifts and ensure that the gifts you give are thoughtful and valuable. You could also use this rule for other occasions, such as birthdays or anniversaries for kids or other people you tend to over-purchase for when it comes to buying gifts.
What is the most popular gift to give on Christmas?
The most popular gifts to give on Christmas are clothes, electronics, and other material items. However, many people also enjoy giving experiences as gifts, for example, Tickets to a show, Restaurant Gift Cards. It depends on the person you are giving the gift to and what they would consider the best present.
Print Your Cards or Send e-Cards
Make a Christmas card for a family member using cardstock. Print holiday messages in whatever format you wish. Another option is to use a low-cost print service such as Shutterfly or Snapfish. Log into your account and upload photos of your family for fun. Many sites offer special deals to save more money. This idea can help you save more money than buying and customizing store-made Christmas cards.
Host or Join in on a Cookie Exchange
You could have holiday fun with friends when you host a cookie exchange and invite everyone to make three cookies from their preferred holiday cookie and squares Xmas recipes. It allows the recipients to receive a lot of different baking, and it’s a great way to save money by not having to purchase as many ingredients to do a lot more variety of holiday baking.
Homemade gifts are another great way to give the gift of time. You can make baked goods, jams and jellies, soap, candles, ornaments, or quilts. You can create personalized gifts such as earrings, aprons, or tote bags if you have a crafting hobby. Be sure to start early, so you have enough time to make a quality gift.
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Remember, fun is free.
Although Christmas can be costly and sometimes feel like buying multiple people presents, keep an eye out for free fun and entertainment to do around the holiday season
Gather to watch the Town Christmas Parade
Many towns have their Christmas celebration at the end of November and the beginning of December. It’s fun for friends and families and free! Have the following day a potluck party to complete the festival. This plan helps keep your family in touch with your communities while preserving great memories that will not cost you too much money, and you can still all celebrate Christmas together instead of buying Christmas gifts.
Drive around to see Outdoor Christmas Decorations
Most towns and cities have a local Candy Lane, where many houses on select streets have tons of outdoor Christmas decorations to see. Many people put considerable effort into their outdoor decorations and compete in local decorating contests. It would be a great outing to take Grandma out on or perhaps a great aunty that no longer gets to drive.
Host a Decorating Cookie Gingerbread Party
Get a group of friends and all your kids’ friends, or perhaps siblings and their kids and get everyone to bring different coloured icing and decoration items, and maybe get some help on baking sugar cookies to bring to the event. Yes, it will get messy, but the holidays are all about creating memories, so it is a great way to create memories without breaking the bank.
Tips to earn more money towards Christmas Shopping.
If the Christmas budget was not as planned, you could work harder at earning more cash for holiday spending. Various businesses employ employees temporarily for holidays. It’s a fantastic way to save some money at Christmas. Can someone save a lot of money during work? Many of these companies offer employees generous discounts; you could shop at your workplace to save some money. Another option you could use to save more during the holidays would be a side business you could do at home. A side business is a part-time job that fits into your busy routine.
Start earning gift cards and cashback for gifts.
Some people do a lot of surveys and other part-time online side hustles such as uploading receipts, getting extra cash from Cashback apps, and using PC Optimum Points to its full advantage to reduce the money needed to reduce the cost of gift buying.
Christmas doesn’t have to be a time of financial stress. By creating a budget and following it, you can enjoy the holiday season without going into debt. Join our newsletter for more tips on saving money and living a healthier life on a tight budget. We wish you all the best this holiday season!