Christmastime is a beautiful season, but it’s also the season of giving, and gift-giving can be overwhelming. There’s so many family, friends and coworkers you want to bless, but still so many bills that don’t stop just because it’s Christmas. There’s parties and Pollyanna’s and extra expenses all around this season. Here are a few tips that I’ve learned over the past few years to keep the cost low, the blessings high, and the bills paid… on time.
- Start Shopping Before the Holiday Season. This is my favorite. It eases my mind to know I’m not racking up December’s credit card bill, and I’m being productive. (Yes, I did start Christmas planning and shopping in the summer this year. I’m a list-lover.)
- Budget for All Occasions. This was really good advice we got from my cousin who practices this “future payments” budget. You know who’s birthdays you are going to buy for, upcoming graduations, Christmas, etc. Budget a certain amount of money each month so that you are financially ready to enjoy all occasions without being burdened.
- Give a Theme! I did this last year for the first time, and it was surprisingly cheaper than buying specific gifts for everybody. Last year, my theme for all of my friends and Pollyanna’s was “A Cozy Christmas.” I gave blankets, fuzzy socks, scarves, blankets, brownie mixes or something of the sort, and candles. Pick a theme and make that your theme for many people you are giving to! Movie Night (pop corn, candy, and a DVD or movie tickets), Sweet Serenity (a good book, highlighter, and a candle), Pamper Yourself (nail necessities, or shower gel and lotion). Pick a theme and make it your own. Give it in a mason jar or a cute, reusable box!
- Give Homemades. Make a cute craft or knit a scarf. The personal touch is invaluable. Or buy local and let the receiver know that in addition to the gift, it helped a small business owner.
- Check to see if items are cheaper when you buy in bulk.
I hope these few tips will help you to enjoy the season without having the stress that sometimes accompanies the new year! Any unmentioned tips you’ve learned? I’d love to see them in the comments below.