Christmas is such a wonderful time of the year, but it can get expensive very easily. As our family grows, so must our budget for gift giving. Or does it? Christmas doesn’t have to be hard on your bank account! You don’t need to dread that January credit card bill! Here are some tips to help you simplify and save over the Holidays.
My biggest advice is to buy items when they are on sale. That makes the most sense, right? But I know that isn’t always an option. Not everything goes on sale, especially those hot and new toys and must have electronics each year. Or perhaps you have a kid who changes their mind and asks for something different 2 days before the big day, and you are left scrambling! So plan ahead, start watching the flyers and sales NOW and get what you can on sale.
Another way you can save is cut back on how many gifts you are purchasing. A few years ago we switched up our gift giving with our own kids by following a simple poem:
Of course this can easily get out of hand if every item is expensive, so setting a budget before hand is a great idea too! My older kids love the theme! It really helps with them focusing on making their “wish list” specific and thoughtful, instead of just circling every toy in the flyer.
Being frugal isn’t just about saving money, it’s also about being smart with how you spend your time. Your time is worth something too, especially if you are super busy like me! Shopping online can save you loads of time, since you can do it from just about anywhere these days from your smart phone or tablet. Waiting for a meeting or doctor appointment? Waiting to pick your kids up from school? Snuggled on the couch in your pjs after a long day? All times that you could be shopping! And it’s a great way to check different stores to see who has the best price. Of course, watch out for data usage if you aren’t on wifi (us Canadians get charged an arm and a leg for data on our phones!), and watch out for shipping fees, paying $20 for shipping isn’t helping you save money. And I shouldn’t even have to say this, but search around for coupon codes and sign up for Ebates to get cash back!
Maybe you are like so many of us, and are sick of “stuff”. You can skip the tangible gifts and give experiences instead. Movie passes and restaurant gift cards make great gifts if you know the person is going to use them. Maybe even a zoo pass or amusement park pass for the upcoming season, or lessons to learn something new! Sharing quality family time together is so important too, so gifting a fun family adventure or afternoon together is a great way to surprise your family without filling your house with more things.
Are you creative or a fan of DIYs? Maybe you can make gifts instead this year! Spend an afternoon together as a family baking cookies, making that special family recipe jam you all love, or knitting or crocheting scarves for everyone. Who doesn’t love receiving a handmade gift? It’s so thoughtful and meaningful and all the more special. And if the kids are able to help, grandparents and aunts and uncles and neighbours will love it that much more.
How do you save money during the Holidays? Share with us on Social Media!