It comes the same time every year, so we all know that it is coming. The holidays: starting with Thanksgiving and followed by Christmas and New Years. Even though we know it is coming, sometimes it can be hard to figure out, and stick to, our Christmas budget. But there are a few ways that we have been able to stretch our Christmas budget throughout the years to minimize the potential financial pain.
I don’t know about you, but our kids want something new ALL the time! So we aren’t at a loss for what to get them when the Christmas comes around.
Just because they want things all the time, doesn’t mean that it is easy to remember everything they want though. As the years have gone by, I have learned a couple of tricks to help with this.
If we are at a store and they find something that they just HAVE to have, then I take a picture of them with the item (and preferably near the price tag for future reference). That way, I know exactly what to look for throughout the year.
I keep the pictures on my phone and my Google drive so that I have them for easy reference. I keep an eye out for these items whenever I am out just in case I run across any of them on sale. If I do find an item on sale (and it is a GOOD sale), then I buy it and squirrel it away in one of my hidey holes at home until Christmas comes.
The other thing that I have them do is send me email links to things they want. Especially the older kids, who are now completely absorbed by digital media. This way I have the links in my inbox and if any of them can be found on Amazon, I add them to my cart and then save them for later.
I have the Honey extension on my computer, which alerts me when any of the items on my saved list drops in price. I really LOVE this extension and have saved a ton of money with it!
One of my favorite ways to stretch our Christmas budget is to sell old and/or broken things that we no longer want or need. Since we have 5 kids, they all grow like weeds and outgrow their clothes and toys fairly regularly.
Every few months I have the kids go through their clothes with me and we fill up a bin with things that no longer fit. Then I take the bin of clothes to a local kids clothes consignment store and sell what I can to them.
Sometimes I take the store credit, because they give you more money back with a store credit, but other times I take the cash. If I take the store credit it is because one or more of the kids is in need of something right away. I prefer to take the cash though, because I put it towards our Christmas budget. That way we don’t have to come up with as much cash when this time rolls around each year.Finally stick to your budget this Christmas with these tips! Click To Tweet
The other thing that we do is go through all of our electronics and see what we no longer want or use. Then I go to the Amazon Trade-In site and see what I can get for them. Of course, we don’t get a ton of money back for our old electronics, but every little bit counts!
Once we have a list of what we plan to send in to Amazon Trade-In, then I print off the shipping labels, box the items up in one box and ship them out. It usually takes less than a week for the items to get to Amazon and for me to see the credit in my Amazon account. But having any credit in my account is helpful, because a lot of the kids want things that Amazon carries. So this money is earmarked for the Christmas budget also.
Family Name Draw
I know as families get larger, the budget can get a bit tighter. And our family is no exception to this rule! As we have grown in size, due to relationships and kids, we have changed how we do Christmas.
Now, instead of everybody getting a present for each individual person, we draw names at Thanksgiving instead. We have a bowl for children’s names and one for the adults. Each kid will grab a name out of the bowl and that is who they buy a gift for (of course, the adults are really paying for those!) and the same applies to the adults in the family.
We also set a monetary limit for the presents, which is $20 for each child or each adult gift. I create a gift list with the items that everybody wants and the best places to find them, so that makes figuring out what to get each person much easier, as well.
This whole process makes gift giving so much less stressful on our wallets!
As a person who spends a lot of time in the kitchen and used to own a gluten free bakery, I have a tendency to bake a lot around this time of year.
People seem to really LOVE my toffee (it is pretty awesome!) and ask me for it for Christmas. Because of this, I started making batches of it right after Thanksgiving and handing them out as presents.
It is not only really easy for me to make this, but it only costs about $1.43 per person, to give as a gift. If I throw it in a fancy bag with a bow, it might cost me an extra $.50 – $1.00. I don’t know about you, but that is a pretty budget-friendly Christmas gift!
Even if baking isn’t really in your wheelhouse, there is probably something you are really good at making that people absolutely love. So just think outside the box and surprise your friends and family with your creativity, all the while keeping your Christmas budget down.
Christmas Budget WIN
So there you have it! Each year we try to reduce our Christmas budget, which can be hard with our 5 kids and our extended families. But, the tricks we have learned throughout the years have really helped us enjoy the holidays and not kill our wallet.
Have you tried any of these tips before to help your Christmas budget? What is something you do consistently to keep your Christmas budget lower and not kill your wallet?