The following is a post from contributing writer Kimberlee.
Do you have a limited budget this Christmas, but you still want to enjoy the season? Check out these 3 ways to have a frugal Christmas.
Make a Plan
If you truly want to save money this Christmas, you will need to do some planning. Developing a strategy beforehand for your activities, gift giving and meals will not only save you money, but help you be less stressed during the busy holiday season.
As you plan, make sure to take a close look at your finances to determine exactly how much money you can afford to spend for gifts, food and events. If you are like most people, you won’t have enough to do everything that you would like, so you will need to prioritize. Thinking about these decisions now will enable you to avoid spending money impulsively just because an activity seems like a good idea.
If you would like a little help to get started with your planning, you can download and print a Free Holiday Planner including a Gift Planner, Christmas Meal Planner and Grocery List, Activity Planner and much more!
Focus on Experiences
The best parts of the holiday season don’t have to cost a lot of money. You can attend free tree lighting ceremonies and concerts at local churches; go caroling in your neighborhood or at a nursing home; or enjoy hot cocoa and s’mores around a backyard campfire.
Another fun idea is to host a Christmas cookie exchange or ornament making party. Everyone brings supplies and goes home with gifts they can give to friend and neighbors. Focus on your relationships with the people around you rather than your lack of money, and you will enjoy a much more peaceful Christmas season.
Rethink Gift Giving
Gifts can be one of the biggest budget busters during the holiday season, but they don’t have to be. There are many ideas available for handmade gifts including the Happy Housewife’s Homemade Christmas Gifts series. Just make sure to set a budget so you don’t spend more than you would purchasing a ready-made gift.
For more ideas to help you save on gift giving, read 5 Easy Ways to Save Money on Christmas Gifts.
The amount of money you have to spend should not determine your enjoyment of the holidays. With a little planning and creativity you can have your best Christmas yet!