The holidays are an opportunity to share time and gifts with friends and family. But are you looking for ways to spend less at Christmas for a worry-free New Year?
Exchanging gifts with those you love during this special time can become costly and can add up quickly. But you don't have to go broke to have an enjoyable holiday with great gifts for everyone on your list.
Here are some ways to spend less at Christmas for a worry-free New Year.
1. Make a Plan
One of the best ways to spend less at Christmas for a worry-free New Year is to make a plan. First, decide how much money you want to spend on gifts. It can help to think about what you want to get each person and how much the gift would cost. Money Crashers recommends creating a budget.
“Create yours before the season hits full steam, and revisit it often to make sure you’re spending within your means,” Money Crashers suggests.
2. Give Yourself Time to Shop
When you feel rushed during shopping you can easily grab items that are too pricey for your budget. Bankrate advises “whether you’re shopping, baking or wrapping presents to send cross-country, budgeting your time can end up saving you tons of money.”
3. Decide What You Need to Buy for Yourself
Money Crashers also recommends thinking about what you will need to buy for yourself in December. Buy necessities for yourself such as food, but you may have to cut back on luxuries such as getting your nails done. Also watch what all you add on to your order. “You can’t get stuck in a trap where constant spending on ‘extras’ eats into your budget,” Money Crashers says.
4. Help Kids Decide Their Santa Wish List
If you have children help them craft their wish list. Some kids can have quite a big imagination. Bankrate explains, “if your kids still believe in Santa, help them draft real-world wish lists.”
5. Buy a Few Generic Gifts
Sometimes generic back up gifts are helpful if someone random shows up to the party. “Those extra, unexpected Christmas gifts can throw off your Christmas budget,” The Balance says. Generic gifts are also useful if you just simply don’t know what to get someone. Gifts that are generic can be anything from candles to a thermos.
6. Save Money Leading up to Christmas
The best way to get ready to spend an excessive amount of money is to prepare. Having the money will prevent you from having to use credit cards. The Money Advice Service explains, “committing to saving a regular sum each month or week is more effective than simply saying you’ll save whatever you have left over, which might be nothing.”
7. Prepare Baking Gifts
Another gift to give is the gift of food. Baked goods can be creative and delicious. “If you’re already baking cookies for your family, making an extra batch as a present for a neighbor is fairly economical,” Bankrate says. The ingredients don’t even have to be costly.
8. Shop when You Can
“If you know what gifts you need to buy, it can help to pick up an item a month to help spread the cost and save you the hassle of shopping when everyone else is,” The Money Advice Service suggests.
9. Share the Cost of a Gift
Another way to save money is to split the cost of a gift. For example, you pay 50% and your sister pays 50%, then you both explain that the present is from both of you. This way, you each will not have to buy a separate gift. Also, you could be saving on a high priced item.
10. Think about Credit versus Cash
When paying with cash you are limiting yourself on how much you are spending. Spending money can be a visual experience where you can see where your money is literally going.
Bankrate reports Clark Howard, the co-author of the book “Get Clark Smart: The Ultimate Guide for the Savvy Consumer” said, “if you know you’ve had trouble in (years) past, do a cash-only Christmas.”
11. Check Your Card Rewards
If you feel comfortable shopping with credit cards during the holidays make sure you are reaping the reward benefits. Some cards partner with specific stores to earn you double the rewards points. Check with your card company to see what rewards you can get.
12. Take Time to Enjoy the Season
In the season of giving you can give more than just a material item. Try to go back to what the holidays mean for you and the memories you want to create. Combine new traditions with old traditions and make the most of you and your family’s time together.