Christmastime means joy for millions of individuals and families. But for many, Christmastime can also be a season of stress, especially financially. Decorations, gifts, and parties don’t come cheap but are often an expected way of celebrating the holidays.
Fortunately, the magic of Christmas doesn’t have to be expensive. If you have a tight Christmas budget this holiday season, here are five ways to make Christmas magic for less:
1. Start buying gifts a few months in advance
One of the biggest financial burdens of the holidays is the number of expenses all at one time of the year. If you plan to purchase a large number of presents, this can really add up in December.
A great tip is to spread out your buying over several months instead. Your holiday budget will thank you. After all, there’s no right time to start collecting and hiding presents for the holidays.
2. Give experiences instead of items
If you have several people to buy gifts for, consider giving experiences instead of items. Some ideas are a girl’s night out with a few drinks, or a kid’s day with a playground, park, and picnic lunch.
These easy and holiday-budget-friendly experiences can mean a lot to the receiver since they’re also getting time with you and not just unwrapping a gift.
3. Plan gift exchanges instead of buying for everyone
Do you have a lot of friends and relatives, but a tight Christmas budget that makes it hard to purchase a gift for each one of them? Consider organizing a gift exchange instead.
Secret Santas are a fun way for everyone to enjoy giving and receiving presents, while you only have to purchase a gift for one person. Giftster.com makes Secret Santa gift exchanges easy and fun for everyone.
4. Use coupons, discounts, and gift cards
If you’re shopping savvy, keep an eye out for coupons and store discounts. You might be able to buy a big-ticket item for considerably less than its advertised price. If there are several people on your list who would enjoy the same things, you could also buy in bulk to save money.
Additionally, you can consider saving gift cards you receive throughout the year to use on Christmas gifts in December. It’s a great way to stick to your holiday budget.
5. Create DIY gifts for people on your list
Are you a little crafty or creative? There’s nothing wrong with making a gift or two, and it can save you some money and help you stick to your Christmas budget. And sometimes a handmade gift says a lot more than something store-bought.
Mason jar cookie mixes (or just a container of yummy, homemade treats), photo ornaments, coupon books, and spa boxes are simple, thoughtful, and inexpensive gifts for friends and family.
Holiday magic doesn’t have to be expensive. With a little bit of planning and thoughtful gift-giving, you can bring a smile to the face of everyone on your Christmas list.