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This post was written last year and recently updated.
Three months to Christmas! It’s hard to believe but it’s that time of year already. As wonderful as Christmas is, and don’t get me wrong I love it and it’s a great holiday but it can be very financially stressful on families and it doesn’t really need to be as bad as we sometimes make it. So I’m going to give you a list of my top tips to ease some of the money worries and over spending.We all need to be saving money this Christmas
- You have to make a list. Everyone you need to shop for goes on that list and a general idea of how much you would like to spend. That way you can know an estimated budget of how much you’re probably going to spend on gifts and adjust before shopping. List who you are going to shop for family and friends also any foods you are bringing to places, because that adds up too. If you want your total to be only $250 for everyone and after your list, your total is closer to $300 than start figuring out how to cut costs now. Don’t spend the money and then stress out about it.
- You don’t have to buy a gift for everyone. Make presents if you can. My family loves homemade gifts from my daughter just as much as some present that we could buy them and the cost of materials to make gifts is usually a lot cheaper than purchasing gifts. School photos as ornaments are usually a big hit or a tin of homemade cookies works too.
- With a large extended family, we don’t shop for everyone names go in a bowl and you get a name and buy for one person. Little kids are excluded from that because they are who we really want to shop for. So in my family, my husband and I end up shopping for two kids and two adults instead of six adults and two kids. Cuts down a lot.
- Keep an eye out for sales. While birthday shopping for my daughter I found a really cute jacket she’d love on clearance for less than $10 it will make a great Christmas gift and better than paying full price near Christmas. Search clearance racks and black Friday sales
- This year my husband and I did our no spend August. Which got us caught up a bit and more prepared for holiday buying.
- Try to remember to focus on memories rather than money. Going to look at Christmas lights, hot chocolate and watching Christmas movies, free Christmas events in the area are more fun for our kids than expensive events and presents. What can you do as a family or to celebrate without spending a lot?
- It’s hard not to but try not to compare yourself and try and keep up with other families. You’ll drive yourself crazy trying to do it all. Trying to have it all. Don’t let people make you feel guilty for not buying enough or for everyone. Do what you can. Don’t put yourself in debt over a Holiday
I think sometimes we all forget that Christmas shouldn’t all be about getting and having and that we need to strike a balance. Even if you have a lot balance all that you get and are able to give your families with making good memories and doing good for others.