Keep Within Your Christmas Budget

01
November

The holidays are coming. You’re in denial and try not to look at the calendar. But once Halloween is over, and the stores start playing Christmas music and decorating for Santa, you’ll no longer be able to keep from thinking about it. You try to remember the magic that Christmas used to bring as a child, but instead feel dread and stress knowing that Christmas means spending money, and lots of it. Every year you vow to stay within your Christmas budget, and every year you fail.

Believe it or not, it is possible to start enjoying the holidays once again. There is a way to stay within your Christmas budget while still giving gifts everyone will appreciate and enjoy. Sounds impossible? It’s not. Keep reading, and I will tell you how.

The most obvious way to stay within your Christmas budget is make your shopping list early and look for items on sale. If you wait until the last minute, you’ll be forced to buy the item no matter what it costs. You can also make use of clearance racks where prices are slashed, sometimes up to 75%. Don’t worry about giving your sister a cute summer shirt in the middle of winter. As long as it’s her style and something she’ll love, it can hang in her closet and give her something to look forward to wearing when winter is over.

Another way to stay within your budget is to give handmade gifts. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking you’d feel cheap giving someone a homemade gift. But you’re looking at it all wrong. As long as the handmade gift isn’t an ashtray made of used Popsicle sticks, and you took care and time to make the item, it will be well-received. A handmade gift doesn’t show that you’re cheap; it shows that you’re thoughtful and took time out of your busy schedule to make something for your loved one. Whether it’s a wooden birdhouse, or a crocheted scarf, a beaded necklace or bracelet, a pretty basket filled with homemade cookies or jellies, or even a homemade CD of the person’s favorite songs, it shows that you care. After all, and at the risk of sounding cliché, isn’t the true meaning of Christmas about spending time with those we love and making wonderful memories? It’s definitely not about trying to impress those same people with glamorous gifts that you really can’t afford and you regret giving once Christmas is over and your credit card bills start to arrive.

After using the money-saving tips mentioned above, you find your Christmas budget almost depleted but there are still people on your list without a gift, you can always fall back on “I Owe You” coupons. They don’t cost a thing but can actually be the most thoughtful gift, as well as the most appreciated. Take your time and be creative when making them. Decorate them with sequins or stickers and make the coupon for something that shows the person you put thought into it. For instance, give your children a coupon for a day free of chores, your husband to win the argument of his choice along with a backrub, your brother to wash and vacuum his car, the options are limited only by your imagination. If you do use coupons though, you must be prepared to actually honor them! The gift will be ruined if your husband hands you the coupon during an argument, and you keep on arguing.

And if all else fails, there’s always re-gifting. Dig out the pair of ugly purple and orange mittens your aunt gave you, or the Chia pet you got as a grab bag gift at the office. But be warned. If you do re-gift, that same gift just may be under the Christmas tree next year with your name on the tag!

This post was written by

jason – who has written posts on Budget Clowns.
Father of three and married to a lovely women. Always looking for ways to save money, and invest it properly for my children's future.

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