(DailyThrive.com) – ‘Tis the season to be jolly! The holidays are right around the corner, which can only mean one thing — Santa’s on his way. It’s all fun and games until you realize you are Santa this year, and you don’t have a lot of money to play with. Now is the time to start thinking savvy. Here are five simple ways you can enjoy Christmas without breaking the bank.
Create a Cash Only Christmas Budget
As you make your list of people to buy for, it can get frustrating looking at who wants what. Some (kids!) often have expensive things on their wish list, while others are happy with anything you give them. Either way, create a cash only, zero-based budget and stick to it. Avoid going into credit card debt for the holidays.
Unless you have an unlimited amount of spending money, this means putting some strict limits on what your shopping expenditure will be. As you go over the gift list, choose a pre-set amount for each person. Don’t go over it. Remember: Christmas is about spirit, not what you can buy.
Piggyback Savings and Deals
Start saving by using sites like Swagbucks and Rakuten. They pay you to shop at certain stores and take advantage of specific sale promotions. Over time, you can rack up points for more savings or even a cash back reward.
Scope out store circulars to find the best deals. Use reward cards or points that you’ve accumulated throughout the year. Apply credits and coupons for added savings during sale promotions. The more you use, the more you’ll save.
Homemade With Love
When funds are tight, it’s time to look to your own talents for gift ideas. Crochet a blanket. Create a faux flower arrangement. Make chocolate candies. Or, just whip up a nice batch of cookies. Hit the dollar store for supplies and gift wrap.
Know a friend who does handicrafts like ornaments or signs? Consider investing in gifts there rather than buying from box stores. While you might pay the same amount, you’ll be helping the people that matter to you most have a better Christmas, too.
Not everyone loves regifting, but it is an option. In fact, you may have some pretty nice gifts from last year just collecting dust in the back of your closet. A cordless back massager, a blue fluffy blanket, or a gift basket full of cosmetics all make a great gift to someone who would love nothing more than to give them a good home.
Just make sure you take the gift tag off.
Consolidate With the Hat Method
The hat method or drawing names is a great way to save on holiday presents. Everyone places their names into a hat; each person draws one name. This is helpful for a large group of adults or a big family. This eliminates having to buy for several people, and everyone stays within their holiday budget.
The best part? You’ll also get a gift back!
Shopping season is right around the corner. From Black Friday to those last-minute deals, retailers lure shoppers in to unload their pocketbooks and raise their credit card balances. But resist the urge to put yourself in a worse position next year. Be strict with your holiday funds to avoid becoming buried in debt this holiday season.
~Here’s to Your Success!
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