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With the cost of living the highest it’s been in decades, we’re all trying to save money. But with the festive season fast approaching this can feel like a losing battle. If you’re already struggling with bills, the added spending needed for gifts and Christmas day can lead to an unbelievable amount of pressure.
I’ve spoken to friends, family members, and online sources to come up with eight tips to help you save money this Christmas. While they may not be the magic fix we’re looking for, these tips show us that there are more ways to save money than we might think. It’s not just about not spending, it’s about spending wisely and using every possible resource in the best possible way.
8 Ways to save money this Christmas.
Realistically decide what you can and can’t afford.
In order to determine how to save money this Christmas, you first need to create a budget plan. You may already have a budget set out for your monthly spending. If so, you’re already one step ahead! Without a firm idea of what you have coming in and going out, it can be easy to get caught up in the festive spirit. After all, it’s all about giving, but if you’re left deciding between paying your mortgage and buying a series of expensive presents, it’s time to prioritize.
Once you know how much disposable income you have for Christmas, you can come up with a plan that matches your budget.
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Prioritise who you’re buying for.
Possibly one of the best ways to save money this holiday season is to prioritise your gift list. Of course we would love to buy all our friends something, but we simply can’t. When it comes down to it, my husband and I only buy our two closest family friends. And, at that, it’s often a hamper of ‘needs‘ rather than something big and expensive.
If you come from a big family or friend group you might also want to consider a Secret Santa. If you haven’t heard of Secret Santa before, it’s where you’re given a specific person to buy for. It’s often used in a workplace setting but has been gradually making its way into family Christmases.
Set a spending limit.
I grew up knowing that ‘Santa‘ could only spend a certain amount each year. So, we chose our gifts accordingly. Now, as adults, my sister and I set a spending limit for each other, and tend to stick to it. It’s a great way to set boundaries with money and, as children, it taught us the value of what we were getting.
Don’t be afraid to re-gift or create your own.
In this house, we’re all about creating your own gifts and even re-gifting. There’s nothing more thoughtful than using your creative talents to spoil the people you love. Even if you’re not overly creative, something as simple as creating a calendar for the grandparents is a wonderful gesture.
If you’re re-gifting unused presents, be sure not to re-gift to the original source. That could be an unfortunate and embarrassing interaction.
Start early to get the best deals.
The best way to save money on Christmas is to start early! As soon as the boxing day sales begin, you start thinking about next year. I know of many people who keep a ‘Present Cupboard‘ where they stockpile for Christmas, birthdays, and other such events. If you’re out shopping or online and happen to see something you know someone in your life might like, nab it! Even if they have no birthdays or anniversaries coming up, put them into your present cupboard and hold onto them for such an occasion.
This is a great way to spread out the cost of gift-giving. It’s also a great way to limit the stress felt around this time of year!
Be smart when it comes to dinner!
Only buy what you need. Don’t buy a turkey that will cater to ten people if it’s just you and your significant other. And if you do find yourself with leftovers, use what you can or freeze it for a later date! If there are any shelters or family charities nearby, cook up some leftovers and drop them down for those who are most in need.
Don’t let comparison set in.
We’ve all been there. You log onto Facebook or Instagram on Christmas morning to a sea of parents photographing their kid’s presents. Their living rooms might be covered from head to toe in new and exciting gifts. And if you’re struggling financially as a parent, it can feel like a kick in the stomach.
It can be all too easy to let comparison steal our joy. The reality is that social media doesn’t show the whole story. You don’t know their situation, and they don’t know yours. It could be that all those gifts are second-hand, or maybe they foolishly put themselves into debt over just one day of the year.
How else would you save money this holiday season?
There are so many other creative ways that people are saving money on a daily basis. Is there anything you’d like others to know about how you save on gifts, bills, or anything else?
These are great tips. I used to prepare months in advance, but this year, I’ve fallen so behind and ended up going over budget in preparing for next year. I’m getting organised early.
These are great ideas to save money! I already finished Christmas shopping for my family, and I did buy a few toys for my daughter during the Black Friday sales to save some money. Also, I’m making a painting for my partner’s grandfather, and I made several gifts for my friend and I’m regifting a few items to her too as we gift each other 12 days of Christmas calendars.
Your blog is all a waste of time. You are refusing to acknowledge the disproportionately poor Black and Indigenous People of Color when it comes to Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas. It is 2022 and we do not need gatekeepers of the traditional oppressive and marginalizing ways.
Great Tip for saving money during the holidays and your trips. I think controlling a spending money is very important and buy the necessity things instead of loving thing
Thanks for Great post
With Christmas night around corner this was extremely helpful! Thanks!
Great ideas. I started early this year and have noticed some financial advantages.
These are really great tips! I especially like the prioritizing people part as sometimes we feel obligated to get certain things for people we really dont’ need to and when we’re financially struggling it doesn’t make sense. My tip has always been to make simple gifts. For example, go to the Dollar Store, Euro Shop , whatver the UK equivalent is and buy simple things like mugs, picture frames (print out a photo of you and the person at the drug store in some cool format), bottle (put Christmas lights inside with photos for a SUPER unique and cheap gift), etc. I have had many holidays where I had to do this and things with photos work really well. Thanks for sharing this!
Nyxie’s Nook, Thanks for sharing.
Really great ideas here Chloe! Last Christmas I went a little overboard, but this year I am being strict with how many presents I buy. Handmade gifts are so underrated, I am making one of my mum’s gifts this year which I will enjoy and I know she will appreciate 🙂
These are great practical tips. I agree with you that it is important to set a spending limit. We can’t be a Santa to everyone so it’s best to prioritize the gift list and if there is extra money from the budget, then that’s the only time to add more people to that list.
Brilliant tips that make so much sense! I already budget and create a list. I’m also planning on looking in a couple of charity shops and seeing if there’s anything I can re-gift – nothing wrong with that! 🙂
Thanks for sharing this article. These are the most effective ways to save money. I really liked the “Don’t be afraid to re-gift or make your own.” What you said is true. If we try to make gifts and give it to anyone. It doesn’t matter whether it’s big or small. At the end of the day we can feel better.The feeling is better than when we buy gifts from the store.
I am saving this Christmas! Luckily, my daughter is growing up and doesn’t need many toys anymore.
I promise myself that the following year I’ll start to buy early and never do. It makes so much sense though and stuff can be cheaper
These are all such great ways to save money this Christmas! Thanks so much for sharing!
These are some really good tips to help save money where you can. We are already making sure we only buy what we realistically need food wise to avoid waste also. Thank you for sharing.
I’m glad I already follow some of these tips! I think setting a spending limit is so important, me and my partner do that every year. You are so right about comparison, especially in the age of social media. Everything is so flashy!
Thank you for sharing!
Great tips, I’m going to prioritize for who I will buy Christmas gifts because after holiday we will have traveling. These are good tips to help to save money.
Prioritizing, starting early and paying for a big thing in cash rather than using credit cards works for me. I like your tip of not falling into the comparison trap too.
Great pointers here lovely. I’ve already done my Christmas shopping but realistically, I should have thought it through a bit more. I do tend to go a bit OTT with Christmas presents for people because I never feel like I’ve got them enough which is a stupid thought x
Great points you have here. I’m happy to see you agree with the idea of re-gifting. In a world where so much goes to landfill, I would rather re-gift than throw things out.
These are great ideas to keep Xmas within a budget – and realistic. Crafting Xmas gifts can be super fun! It’s definitely one of my favourite tips here. Thanks for sharing.
This is a great post and so important! Setting a budget and not trying to compare yourself to others are so important and things people often forget. Thank you for sharing!
Great post Nyxie! Christmas may look a bit different this year due to inflation, but you’ve shared some wonderful and practical tips that we can all apply during the holidays. I’ve been taking advantage of some early deals and have saved a ton already. Thank you for sharing!
Hhhhmmm…thank you for this. I need to be more honest and realistic about what I really need and my affordability of it. No more starting the new year in debt!
These are really valuable tips for saving money this Christmas! I have set a spending limit for each person I am buying for this year as I can’t afford to go mad in terms of buying presents! I think that a lot of people will be doing the same also! x
Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk
Very practical! And yes, prioritise when it comes to gifts. I honestly stopped trying giving gifts to everyone because we end up giving sucky gifts because the budget is so small. Now, we just give gifts to family and very close friends, if we still have some money left.
These are great tips – especially love the comparison one!
My daughter’s care team has really grown this year so it has been decided that they will do a secret santa and they are including my daughter: she is thrilled to be part of it, it saves them on buying for everyone, and it is good fun. Apparently I’m in charge of organising it so I’m just going to pull names out of a hat!
What I do every year to save on the holidays is to shop early, and in advance when the prices are still low. I don’t shop on the peak days.
These are great tips for saving money during the holidays! I am not a huge gift giver just because I believe in the fact that spending time with your loved ones is what is important. But I am a huge believer of buying stuff on a discount so I wait like on hawk for something to go on sale! Let’s go Black Friday!
Maureen | http://www.littlemisscasual.com
LOVE the point about comparison. That’s the easiest way to suck the joy out of the holidays and the money out of your wallet.
A great list of tips for gifts for the upcoming holidays. I must send this to a few folks in my family who could also use this advice.
Great ideas! I myself like to set a budget, and through out the year I keep an eye on things that go on sale/clearance and pick things up here and there when I can to stash away in my closet for Christmas. I also find it helpful to try & save a small holiday fund by setting aside anywhere from $5-$20 a paycheck, it may not seem like a lot at the time but having that extra cash put aside can be very helpful during the holidays.
Thank you so much for these tips. Things are now really expensive that one really needs to cut down on expenses to save cost.