How to Make it Through Christmas When Money is Tight. It is the big questions isn't it? For many families, the holidays can be a stressful time financially, trying to save for gifts for certain loved ones. Others even resort to the credit card to make sure everyone has a good Christmas.
This is not something you should have to resort to. There’s a number of ways that you can still have a merry and bright Christmas without having to spend a ton of money. Let’s take a look at certain ways you can make Christmas happen, while not feeling bad about spending less money.
How to Make it Through Christmas:
These tips are all about making the most of what you DO have, and less about focusing on what isn't available for you and your family. Always remember the focus of the season.
Christmas is About Giving
First, and foremost, you need to remember the reason for the season. It’s not about how much you spend or how many gifts you buy for your children that makes it special. Christmas is about giving, not buying things to buy someone’s love. This should give you a different outlook on not worrying about how much money you have to spend.
Make a List of Who You’re Shopping for
Sit down and make a list of all those you plan on shopping for. You shouldn’t feel guilty for not buying your second cousin and great aunt Martha an elaborate gift. Being on a tight budget might even mean sticking to your children and spouse, and that’s okay.
Set a Spending Budget
After you have your list of loved ones you plan on shopping for, set a budget for each person. Next, set an overall budget on your Christmas spending. You can always fluctuate the amount spent on each person, as long as you stick to your overall budget at the end.
Start Saving Early
It’s never too early to start saving for Christmas. Tuck away $5-$10 a week, and by the time Christmas arrives, you should have more than enough to cover for your family. Check out my tips for how to save for the holidays in July. While it's a bit later in the year, the tips still work!
Limit the Gifts
It’s funny how a couple of weeks after Christmas passes and your children no longer play with all the toys you bought them but one or two. Limit the number of gifts you buy for each family member. Whether you buy them one gift or a hundred gifts, you can’t buy love.
Space out Shopping
You also don’t have to go shopping all at once for Christmas, as easier as it sounds. Space out each purchase, when you have the money.
Depending on the department store, if you’re wanting to buy gifts that are a little too pricey right upfront, you can always have them put in layaway until you have them paid off. I like these tips for saving at Walmart that also add extra money to your budget.
Shop for Sales and Discounts
Also, plan your shopping on certain items when you see them go on sale. Don’t purchase an item at full retail. A couple of weeks before the holiday, it’s sure to be discounted at some point. You can even apply this to your groceries for holiday meals. If you have a local Aldi, then make sure to check out my cheat list for Aldi shopping to really help you save the most.
Make Your Own Decorations
If you’re on a limited budget and don’t have the means to buy decorations for your tree or the inside of your home, consider homemade Christmas decoration ideas that are cheap and materials you already have lying around. You can even check my tips for frugal home decor to help expand your budget for the holidays.
Make Homemade Gifts
Why stop there if you are crafty? Consider making some of your gifts to give those you love. It’s a gift that’s straight from the heart and is sure to mean even more than one that has a price tag and a receipt to go with. How about these homemade Christmas gift ideas to give you options. I have shared in the past how Habitat Restore is one of my favorite places to find things for DIY projects, well they are also great for supplies to make your own homemade gifts!
These are a number of ways to survive the holidays if you’re running on a tight budget. If you’ve lived this from experience, what other ways did you make the holidays great without spending a whole lot?