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Do you want to control and manage your crazy holiday spending this year? Well, here are 17 borderline genius tips to help you with holiday budgeting and control the amount of money you spend during the Christmas season. Also included is a free holiday budget worksheet.
The holiday season is finally here and I know you are wondering how you can avoid spending a ton of money this Christmas.
Shocking Holiday spending statistics
What shocking Holiday spending statistics! Did you know Americans spent just shy of $790 billion during the holidays last year? Yeah, I know! It gets really crazy with all the jingles, the bells, and the fancy lights. But it is so mind-boggling how people get to spend a ton of money on just items that go straight to the trash, or used once a year, or even given to people you don’t even like.
I completely understand that you don’t want to miss out, but it’s so easy to be consumed with the Holiday spending spirit and credit card swiping. LOL! Gets me all the time too! But you know what? Not this year, because I have decided it is the year of making smart money choices. And I would love it if you join me.
So, I came up with 17 borderline genius tips that can help you and me with Holiday spending, budgeting, and saving.
17 Tips to help you control your Holiday Spending
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1. Set a holiday budget to avoid overspending
The first most important step to controlling and managing how much you spend during the holidays is to set a specific budget for gifts, decorations, supplies, and food.
In my blog post about Christmas budgeting, I specifically give you the step-by-step method of setting a Holiday budget that works. Read More here: 5 Easy Steps to Create a Christmas Budget that Works: Free Christmas Budget Printable included
It is most important to set a holiday budget so that you can avoid going into credit card debt, keep up with your savings and avoid shopping stress and guilt.
2. Communicate with family and friends
When it comes to holiday spending decisions, communication is key. In most cases, people attend Christmas events and buy gifts that they cannot afford. In some extreme cases, they also go to an extent of buying gifts for people they literally don’t care about or like. Lol! Make it make sense! Really, what’s the point?
The coins are coming from your pocket, so yes, you do have a voice and opinion. And you really don’t have to please everyone. So, learn to say no and do communicate with your friends and family way in advance about what you can and cannot afford.
I am sure no one will be offended if they truly love you. (Just don’t accept to attend and buy things, and then cancel last minute). The time to communicate is now.
3. Buy a Combined Gift
To avoid spending a ton of money during the holidays, try having a combined gift. This is such an amazing idea, especially for couples and families. Instead of each other spending a ton of money on separate Christmas gifts, you could instead chip in towards one gift that you both really want or could use.
For example, you could save all year towards a couple’s holiday getaway, new tv for the family, treadmill for the kids, a puppy for the family, kitchen renovation budget, a Christmas tree, etc.
4. DIY Christmas Gift to avoid holiday spending
I am definitely calling out all the DIY creatives. Lol, this is your platform to SHINE!
If making cute things comes second nature to you, how about you use your creative juices to save on some holiday spending money? (How do you think people come to create amazing products that sell in the market for millions?) Yes, by using your creativity, you might get an idea to build a successful business one day.
So yes, make DIY gifts for your friends, coworkers, partner, family, to save some money. Especially if you have kids, I am sure they can give relatives DIY gifts and no one would be mad.
Other DIY Christmas gift ideas:
- Chunky oversized blanket
- Mason jar gifts
- Handmade soap & scrub
- Bake cookies
5. Shop way early before the holidays or after Christmas season
I cannot specify this enough. Shop really early before Christmas or later after Christmas to save money on holiday spending.
This is because holiday prices are usually at their peak during the season because the demand is high. For reference, once you start seeing the jingles, the bell, and lights on the streets, know that it’s too late to make big holiday purchases.
Just an insider tip, having a fashion boutique for a few months, I learned that shops prepare for seasonal items at least three months in advance. So, personally, I’d start collecting Christmas items in August before seasonal prices start hitting.
But the best of the best time is shopping for holiday gifts after Christmas. Most stores at this point are trying to get rid of inventory because of less demand, so prices are down. But that may not guarantee you will find the specific items you want.
6. Celebrate on a different day
Of which, that brings us to the next point. If you want to avoid crazy holiday spending, you might want to consider spending Christmas on a different day. I mean it’s nice to spend it on the D-day, but it’s not the end of the world if you can’t during some years. That’s just life, and sometimes you have to do what’s best for your pockets.
So, consider celebrating it after Christmas or even combine it with New years, birthdays, etc. to save some money.
7. Store your Christmas decorations well
This is such a great tip to help you avoid spending on new decorations every holiday. It doesn’t matter if you bought the decorations from the dollar store or a fancy local shop, most of those items can be stored well to be used next year.
So, be intentional about what you buy and how you keep it. Trust me, it will save you money in the long run. So, after the holidays, organize your tree, decorations, and ornaments in a storage bin
8. Go to free events during the holidays
If you really can’t afford to spend money during the Christmas holidays, or you’re just trying to save for something else this year, go to free events. Don’t be discouraged and let your Christmas spirit die.
Search and look, there is always a ton of holiday events that goes on around you for free. Such as Christmas street lights, performances, fireworks, carols, volunteering, etc. Don’t miss out.
And also if you live in a city middle of nowhere, you could go to church events. Most churches celebrate the holidays and even give free food.
9. Buy only things you need and can afford
Y’all I am a culprit of this. I a thousand percent go to the store to buy one thing and come out with a million unrelated items. Who can relate? Haha! But those candles from Target and bath & body works always smell soo good! I need them all.
Anyway, no more excuses, from this year let’s try buying only what we need. Y’all can see that I am talking to myself, haha!
So, this trails back to creating a budget and sticking to it. When you go to the shops, just buy what’s on the list and nothing else. Santa is watching. IYKYK
10. Keep it simple to control holiday spending
Yaas! do not be embarrassed to be simply cheap in order to avoid the crazy holiday spending. You know that if you continue budgeting and saving, you might one day have your lavish Kim Kardashian holiday party. Haha! At least that’s what I tell myself. keep grinding, it’s coming.
So, yeah, save you money by keeping it simple. You literally, don’t need to impress anyone. Buy a cheap Christmas tree from Walmart or Amazon. Buy your ornament and decorations from the dollar store. Yaas, I know it’s super flimsy, but who cares? It actually looks really good in pictures.
Pssst! also make your holiday art using Canva and buy frames from the dollar store! Just makes your home or office look festive.
11. Don’t shop for yourself during the holidays
Haha! This is definitely a point for all the treat myself peeps out there. My hand is definitely raised up in the sky, lol! What about you? Do you feel the urge to treat yourself, even when it’s not about you?
Well, not for Christmas babe! Don’t mean to be the bearer of bad news, but it gets to be expensive real quick. Well, if you really have a holiday spending budget, collect items on the list only. Just because you picked something out for your BFF, it doesn’t mean you have to be matchy-matchy. Maybe you can borrow the scarf sometime.
I know it’s super easy to want stuff for yourself as well, I get it. But if you’re on a budget, how about you just save some money on the side and get yourself something later in the year such as your birthday?
Trust me, if you have good money habits, all these things will come. Just be patient.
12. Avoid sales to save on holiday spending
Let me just get this out of my chest. Sales are the biggest scam EVER! Don’t worry, this fuss is coming from my miser accountant side, haha.
Just because an item has a sales stamp on it, it doesn’t mean that you are getting a deal. Most stores already include huge margins in their prices. So, they’re still making a humongous profit. Of which that’s still good for them, but might not be good for you.
So, don’t feel rushed to buy something just because it’s on sale during the holidays.
The best deal you can ever have is buying something that you have smartly saved up for. Know that these products are not going anywhere. Yes, they may be out of stock in a minute, but they will restock it soon enough.
And once you have saved enough money, then do your research on which store offers the cheapest prices for the item.
13. Save on wrapping
Depending on how broke you are, you may want to save some holiday spending money by not wrapping gifts extravagantly. Or using the cute and fancy seasonal personal bags.
Gift wrapping is quite expensive, for what it is. It’s something that will be torn apart and thrown out in the trash within a second of handing the gift over.
So, think of creative cheap ways to wrap gifts or even store gifting bags throughout the year and reuse them during the holidays.
14. Look for gift alternatives
Gifting is definitely not about money. And if it is, maybe you’re surrounding yourself with the wrong people.
Therefore, to save on holiday spending you should take your time to look for gift alternatives for the different people in your life. Remember no luxury.
For example, you can:
- Find cheap gift ideas
- Give essential gifts to your partner and kids such as clothes, tech devices, books, website platform to start their business, etc.
- Use your quality time as gift, such as volunteering, giving a massage, going to an event, no social media date night, etc.
Just remember that not everyone needs a gift, so create boundaries and do not overstretch your money and time.
Here is my related blog for Christmas gift ideas at different price points: 100+ Cute Christmas Gift Ideas for Her: She’ll Absolutely Love
15. Create inexpensive Christmas traditions
From the get-go, create inexpensive Christmas traditions to avoid crazy holiday spending every year.
I don’t know about you, but Christmas should not always be about pretentious gifting among family members and friends. But it should be about laughter, good food, games, random pictures, and quality time with the people you absolutely love.
So, you can make it a point to start Christmas traditions that’s more directed towards building a community, rather than what you’re getting from them. It shouldn’t be about ME, ME, ME! What am I getting? But being grateful for the little things in life.
16. Use coupons to control holiday spending
If I am being totally honest, I always forget to look for coupons, not unless I’m getting a car oil change from Firestone. (College hack, haha!)
But, I guess if you would like to save some money on holiday spending, you might want to look for holiday coupons early enough.
Here are 11 Best Places to Get Coupons
17. Combine holiday parties
Last but not least, if you have over a million holiday parties to attend or host, how about combining some?
This will actually save you some money on holiday spending. For example, if your birthday is in late December, how about bringing people together for one party, instead of having two?
Also, rather than having a girlfriend’s holiday party and a couples holiday party, how about just having one that you include all your friends?
Combining holiday parties will also be a great way to expand your network and connection with people.
Free Holiday Budget Worksheet
Just because you read my blog to the end, I have a small gift for you. Here is a free holiday budget worksheet to help you avoid overspending.
Last Thoughts on holiday spending tips
In conclusion, I hope that you have found these 17 holiday spending tips and budget worksheets beneficial. So go ahead and plan, budget, and save money. Happy holidays!
Also, let me know what holiday spending tips you can’t wait to try in the comments. Aaaand! Let’s be friends because I can’t wait to chat with you more.