The holidays are a time to gather and celebrate the season. We all know this usually entails exchanging gifts and preparing grand meals. However, making memories with friends and family doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. Just incorporate a few money-saving tips into your seasonal plans, and you’re sure to have an affordable Christmas and holiday celebration.
How To Pull Off an Affordable Christmas
Having an affordable Christmas boils down to three main steps: planning, gifting, and celebrating. Here’s what you can do to avoid breaking the bank this holiday season.
- Create a detailed Christmas budget.
As soon as you can, figure out how much you can afford to spend, and allocate your money into specific categories. Then plan your shopping around this budget.
- Put aside money throughout the year.
Christmas has a way of sneaking up on you, but you can avoid massive spending by setting aside some money each month. When the holidays come around, you’ll be good to go.
- Look for presents year-round.
If you shop throughout the year, you can take advantage of flash sales as they happen. Designate a secret gift closet where you can stash your finds.
- Shop through eBates.
If you’re not using eBates when you shop online, you’re missing out on easy cash back. There’s even a button you can install that automatically opens eBates as you browse. Simply click, shop, and earn your money.
- Don’t turn up your nose at secondhand options.
You’d be amazed what you can find in mint condition at resale shops and yard sales. It’s not uncommon to find expensive name brands at rock bottom prices.
- Use those credit card rewards.
Do you have a card that gives you cash back or airline miles? Redeem them before Christmas for your holiday shopping and travel.
- Check Groupon and LivingSocial for gifts at rock-bottom prices.
These sites constantly offer sales on top of their regular discount prices. On any given day, you’ll find spa visits, museum memberships, and countless other upscale gift ideas.
- Try your hand at making Christmas gifts.
Many people shy away from the idea of DIY gifting. However, a simple online search yields hundreds of ideas for nice gifts, regardless of your skill level.
- Cut down on holiday travel.
Enjoy a relaxing break at home, or limit yourself to one long-distance outing per year.
- Take advantage of inexpensive local events.
With a large city like Houston at your disposal, you won’t run out of things to do on the cheap. Take advantage of low-cost options like outdoor movies and festivals.
- Limit your guest list.
Prioritize family members first, then close friends as your budget allows. Let everyone know it will be a small gathering to avoid hurt feelings.
- Get creative with your holiday meal.
Instead of splurging on a feast with all the trimmings, host a potluck dinner and have every guest bring a dish. Skip the lavish desserts and try a cookie swap or hot chocolate buffet.
It’s no secret that Christmastime can get a little crazy. Being smart with your money will save you time and stress over the holidays.
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