With November coming to a close shortly, a lot of people are starting to think about Christmas. Or for some people, it's all they've been thinking about for a while now. Either way, today I will be talking about saving money on Christmas gifts.
If you are already crazy prepared and have all your Christmas gifts for this year, you can use some of this advice for next year. Or you can just ignore my tips too, I'm fine with that. But I thought I would share some money saving tips when it comes to Christmas.
First of all, everyone is different and every family is different, so these ideas may not work for you. I do some of these things and some of them I don't, but I thought they were all smart ideas.
Tip #1 - Buy throughout the year
If you know who you are getting gifts for, you can spend the whole 12 months before Christmas getting ready for it. By doing this, you will be able to spend time looking for the "perfect gift" and even possibly find it on sale. You can also budget money for gifts each month and that way spread the cost out over the full year, instead of squishing all the spending into one or two months. This way can also help reduce stress since you won't be running around last minute trying to fight the crowds in shopping malls.
Tip #2 - Draw names
Another way to save money in the gift department is to draw names. This works especially well in larger families so you don't have to buy a gift for 12 different people. By drawing names, you can focus on the one person you get and spend more time and energy on their gift. In our family, we also put a spending cap on how much each gift should cost, that way it's even across the board.
Tip #3 - Make your own
Making your own Christmas gifts has become more popular as of late and a lot of people are hopping on this train. Whether its baking, crafting, knitting, woodworking, etc, it gives the gift a personalized touch and usually makes it more meaningful. The other positive thing about making your own gifts is that it is usually cheaper than buying. I say usually because you can also go a little overboard on supplies, depending on what you are making. The other thing to factor in is time. If you have the time and the motivation, then go ahead and make some gifts! But if time is something you are lacking, it may not be worth it to spend hours on gifts.
Tip #4 - Regifting
Once again, this is a personal choice and won't work for all families but some people don't mind getting second-hand gifts. Whether you go to a thrift store to shop or look around your own house, giving away something that you aren't using but you know someone else will enjoy can save you a lot of money! I don't recommend giving gifts that are old and beaten up but if you have something that is in perfect working condition, why not give it to someone who will enjoy it more?
You can also combine all four of these tips and take what you want from each. Or sometimes you can do one thing with one side of the family and something completely different with the other side. The important thing to remember is that it is just Christmas and while giving gifts is lots of fun, it's not worth going into debt for. Be wise with your money and spend it carefully.
What about you? Do you have any other tips to share? Where do you stand on the whole gift giving thing?
Thrifty Thursday Mini Series
Week 1: Tracking Your Spending
Week 2: Monthly Budget
Week 3: Just Say No
Week 4: Mini Emergency Fund
Week 5: Buying vs Making
Week 6: Coupons
Week 7: Debt
Week 8: Christmas Gifts
Week 9: Thrift Stores
Week 10: Finale