Here are 11 simple ways to start saving financially for Christmas now. Don’t go into debt during the holiday season – you can get ready for presents and Christmas day all year long!
One of the most dreaded things about Christmas and other holidays at that time of year (other than your in-laws coming to visit) is trying to do your holiday shopping. Not only are the stores crowded, but you always seem to end up spending more than you planned on unexpected requests to Santa!
According to studies, people spend about $1,000 on Christmas gifts each year – and even more if you have children! The average parent spends $250-$450 on buying presents per child. I don’t know about you, but I do not have an extra grand lying around in December in my Christmas savings account, even though we live on a $42 weekly grocery Christmas budget.
Some people are even so desperate when Christmas rolls around, they dip extra cash into their 401k’s and other retirement savings!
Please, I beg of you, do not do this!
11 Ways to Prepare Financially for Christmas
Instead, I am going to give you eleven holiday spending and saving for Christmas strategies that you can start getting ready now for the holidays! They’re stressful enough without the dread of going into debt for a toy that will never be played with again!
1. Start Gift Shopping in August
Did you try to find a Hatchimal or Fingerling in November in the last couple of years? (If you don’t know what those are, you probably don’t have children!) Not only were they impossible to find, but if you were lucky enough to find them on eBay, they cost over five times what they originally sold for!
However, if you had been looking in September or October, you would have been able to find them. In fact, several of 2018’s hottest toys (like Little Live Wrapples) are already available for pre-order on Amazon right now, and it’s barely August! And they keep selling out, even though they won’t be available until October!
Even if you try to keep gifts from overwhelming your Christmas day, you still want to get something for your loved ones. And the sooner, the better! This way you’re financially prepared when Christmas comes – you only have a few things to get.
Some stores also allow you to set gifts on layaway, to pay a little bit at a time.
2. Start Saving For Christmas Now to Prepare Financially
Set aside an envelope to save money, a bank account, or even just a place in your Christmas budget, to save $50 per month. This will add up to $600 at the end of the year which you can spend on gifts! Even if you can’t do a full $50, any amount will help make a difference! If you don’t have a budget, use our free easy one!
If you know how much you usually spend, and you can afford to do so, divide up that amount by 12. That will give you how much you will need to save and put aside every month. This way you’ll be prepared financially for Christmas.
One way to start saving cash for Christmas now is using the Acorns app, which is like a digital way of saving money for your spare change. Each time you make a purchase on your credit or debit card, it will round up the amount to the next whole number and invest that money. It actually adds up pretty quickly!
3. Sell Current Toys
As my children outgrow toys and clothes, we re-sell them on Facebook groups for our geographical area. I save the money to spend on future birthday and Christmas gifts.
We always choose toys for our children to donate at Christmastime, but these are typically current toys they no longer play with. For toys and clothes are simply don’t work for our kids anymore, we re-sell those. Between the gifts we give our kids and the presents extended family members give them, we need to clear out some space.
We actually had a garage sale a few weeks ago, and we ended up making around $500 from it! I actually thought we didn’t have anything we could sell until I started going through my kids’ closets.
I’m embarrassed to admit how much of a hoarder I was, and I started working towards bieng a minimalist.
4. Supplement with Gift Cards to be Financially Prepared for Christmas
There are so many ways to earn gift cards for Amazon, Target, and other stores that are easy to do! My family will save all of these up until the end of the year. And that makes us prepared financially for Christmas!
Last year, we had around $1,000 in gift cards that we used to pay for Christmas! And then for birthdays the following year, since our children did not need to be that spoiled. This leads us to our next point…
5. Reconsider Your Gifting Habits
It needs to be mentioned that in Christmas, spending $250-$450 each Christmas per child is a bit much for most budgets! If you are feeling the need to spend more than your holiday budget, and income allow for, then you may need to reconsider your gifting habits (especially in regard to your children).
There is no need to go into debt (and that includes credit card debt!) or to dip into your savings and retirement accounts for Christmas. It’s important to be wise in holiday spending and start saving money for Christmas, and to teach your children that prudent spending is more important than the latest toys; otherwise, they will struggle learning those lessons as adults.
6. Draw Names and Set Limits
I am the oldest of 10 children. My mom has 12 siblings, and my dad has 7 siblings. I’ve lost track of how many cousins I have! It would be impossible for us to get Christmas presents for everyone, so we draw names and that helps us prepare financially for Christmas.
The way this works is each child in the immediate family draws a sibling’s name. Then the extended family (my aunts and uncles) draw family names. This means that my parents’ family is responsible for getting gifts for one of my mom’s siblings and their family, and one of my dad’s siblings and their family. These gifts are always family gifts (like a board game or matching outfits) that can be enjoyed together.
7. Taking Advantage of Early Sales and Discounts
As a busy mom of four, I’ve always found joy in making the holiday season special for my family. One little secret I’ve discovered over the years on how to save money for Christmas is the magic of taking advantage of early sales and discounts shop online first.
Now, I’m not talking about fighting the crowds on Black Friday – been there, done that! Instead, keep an eye out for those early bird sales that start popping up before the holiday rush. You’d be amazed at the gems you can find without the stress of last-minute chaos.
The beauty of these early sales is that they allow you to snag thoughtful gifts for your family and friends without breaking the bank. And let’s be real, who doesn’t love a good deal, especially during the season of giving?
I’ve made it a little tradition in our household to kick off the holiday season with a family shopping day. We grab our favorite cozy scarves and mittens, bundle up, and hit the stores or browse online together. It’s not just about the gifts; it’s about the memories we create along the way.
8. DIY Christmas Preparations
You can save money by crafting personalized gifts is like sprinkling extra love into the season. There’s something incredibly heartwarming about putting thought and effort into creating a gift that speaks to the recipient’s soul. From hand-knit scarves to personalized photo albums, the possibilities are endless. It’s not just about the gift itself; it’s about the joy of crafting and giving someone a piece of your heart.
Now, let’s talk homemade Christmas decorations! Not only does it add a special touch to your space, but it’s also a fantastic way to save on costs. Gather the kids, put on your favorite holiday tunes, and turn the decorating into a family affair. It’s not just about the final result; it’s about the laughter, the creativity, and the warmth that comes with creating something together.
Whether it’s a hand-painted ornament or a batch of delicious homemade cookies wrapped with care, these DIY touches make the holiday season extra special. Plus, they carry that priceless personal touch that store-bought items just can’t match.
9. Exploring Layaway Options
Here is something super handy: layaway options. It’s like a budget-friendly magic trick for Christmas shopping, and I’m here to share how it works and the nitty-gritty of the pros and cons.
First off, understanding layaway is like unwrapping a gift of financial flexibility. Instead of shelling out the full amount upfront from your Christmas or holiday savings or account, you make smaller payments over time. It’s like having a secret Christmas savings plan without the stress.
Now, onto the pros. Imagine snagging those must-have gifts without feeling the pinch in your wallet all at once. Layaway lets you spread the festive joy over a few paychecks, making it way more manageable. Plus, no need to worry about sneaky interest charges; it’s like a Christmas miracle!
Of course, like any holiday adventure, there are cons to consider. Some stores might have fees or cancellation rules, so it’s crucial to read the fine print. And keep in mind, the item isn’t yours until the last payment, so if your kid changes their wish list, it might be a bit tricky.
If you’re a planner like me, layaway can be a game-changer! It’s like having a stress-free sleigh ride through the holiday shopping season online madness. So, cozy up with a cup of cocoa, weigh the options, and let the magic of layaway make your Christmas savings account healthy and your Christmas shopping season merry and bright!
10. Maximizing Credit Card Rewards
I’ve got some heartwarming tips to share on maximizing those credit card rewards as well.
It’s like turning your everyday spending into festive treasures. Whether it’s cashback, points, or miles, those little rewards can add up to big smiles during the holiday season.
Using these rewards for your holiday purchases is like having a secret stash of joy waiting to be unleashed. Imagine scoring gifts or even a cozy family getaway without denting your wallet. It’s the kind of magic we all need during this special time of year.
When it comes to using credit cards during the festive frenzy, a few tips can make all the difference. First, set a Christmas budget and stick to it like you’re wrapping the perfect present. That way, you’re not caught up in the holiday whirlwind of overspending.
Also, consider using your rewards strategically – maybe for those extra special holiday treats or that one gift that’ll light up your loved one’s face. It’s about making the most of what you’ve got without falling into the credit card abyss.
So, as you dance through the holiday hustle, remember the joy of credit card rewards. It’s like turning everyday moments into festive memories. Wishing you a season filled with warmth, wise choices, and all the little rewards that make this time of year truly magical!
11. Exploring Group Gift Strategies
Another way to keep holiday expenses and turn your holiday gifting into a jolly breeze is group gift strategies! It’s like spreading the holiday joy while lightening the financial load. Round up your pals or family members and create a little gifting team. Everyone contributes, and together you can get that extra-special present without feeling the pinch.
You can do a holiday potluck dinner where everyone brings a dish, or organize a DIY gift-making day together. It’s not just about saving money for Christmas; it’s about building memories and sharing the festive spirit.
And here’s a cozy thought – you can even create a shared holiday fund for group activities or experiences. Whether it’s a winter getaway or a festive outing, pooling resources makes it feel like you’re all in on the holiday cheer and magic together.
Let’s turn the holiday gifting stress into a joyful collaboration. It’s like weaving a tapestry of shared moments and shared costs. Wishing you a season filled with warmth, laughter, and the kind of group gift-buying strategies that make the holidays truly magical!
More Christmas Guides to Inspire:
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- How to Keep Presents from Overwhelming Christmas | Alternatives to Minimalist Christmas Gift Ideas
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- Family Activities That Aren’t Food or Presents
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