Are you looking to save money and cut spending this holiday season? This Christmas, more than any other, it may be a little easier to save money during the holidays with the pandemic. Most likely there won’t be as much getting together with friends and family, parties, shopping in stores, and holiday events. Although, it can still be difficult to save money during the holidays. Here are 9 ways to cut back and spend less money on Christmas.
9 Ways to Cut Spending This Holiday Season
1. Make a Budget and Stick to It
Make a specific budget for money spending during the holidays. Set the exact amount you do not want to go over. Then make a plan of areas you spend money at Christmas and what you need to buy this year. Set a spending limit for each budget area. Then track and record each and every one of your expenses. When you keep record of your spending, you are likely to spend less or at least not spend more than you should. Cut out everything unnecessary and make thoughtful, conscious choices when you do spend money. Do not waste money on anything.
2. Save Money With Christmas Presents
There are a few different ways to save money on Christmas presents. First, decrease the amount of gifts you give and the amount you spend on gifts. Next, instead of a monetary gift, give homemade gifts, write thank yous, or come up with something fun to do with the person as a “gift”. There are many ways to show someone you care or appreciate them without spending a large amount of money.
3. Change or Cut Doing a Christmas Card
One way to save money during Christmas is to cut doing a Christmas card. With email and social media, we can keep up to date pretty well on our friends and family’s lives. However, if you are set on doing a Christmas card avoid doing an expensive photo card. Photo cards can cost between $0.50 – $2.00 per card plus postage.
Instead, get a couple packs of holiday cards at the dollar store and fill them out. If you want to include a picture of your kids for family, put in a 4×6 print that you can develop at Walgreens for 10 cents. Instead of mailing out all your cards, try to hand deliver as many as possible when you see people.
If you are looking for a free Christmas card option, send out a Christmas ecard, email with photos, or post a “Christmas card” on facebook for all to see.
4. Limit New Holiday Decorations to Cut Spending
To cut spending this holiday season, avoid buying new holiday decorations. If you want to have something new, make something from items you have around your house. Another option is to spice up a decoration you already have with lights, bows, or ribbon. Try changing where you put certain holiday decorations for a new look and feel.
5. Wear Holiday Outfits From Past Years
Instead of getting new holiday attire or outfits, wear what you wore last year or the year before that. To change the outfit slightly, wear different jewelry, shoes, or a scarf to make it look different. Most people do not remember what they wore a year ago, so the chances of someone else remembering what you wore is slim.
Another way to get a “new” outfit for the holidays is to barrow or swap outfits with a friend or family member that is similar in size to you.
6. Spend Less Money on Holiday Treats and Baking
The holidays are typically a time for over indulging in good food and treats. However, with less parties and gatherings, there will be less need for these goodies. People won’t be sharing food like they have in past years. So save money by spending less on baked goods, ingredients for treats, snacks, and expensive hors d’oeuvres. Besides your bank account, your body will thank you for limiting the holiday treats and not adding the extra pounds.
7. Instead of Donating Money, Donate Time
The holiday season is a time to give to others who are less fortunate and help others out who are struggling. If you normally give money and/or gifts to charities or causes donate your time instead.
There are many organizations and non-profits that could use volunteers. For example, you could ring the bell outside a store for the Salvation army, serve food at a homeless shelter, volunteer to sort and hand out food at a local food pantry, or visit and read to children at a local hospital.
Besides volunteering at a big company and organization, there are people you know or are in your own backyard who could use support. For instance, shovel the elderly neighbor’s sidewalk and driveway. Offer to run errands for someone who can’t drive. Bring the person who is going through an illness or surgery a meal or two. Offer to watch someone’s kids who just lost their job so they can job search and go for interviews. For more on how to show support to others click here.
8. Avoid Hosting Holiday Parties
This may be an easy one to accomplish this year with the pandemic, but cut out hosting holiday parties. Save money on food, beverages, decor, tableware, and entertainment with eliminating having people over. The holidays are crazy enough, cutting out a holiday party will save you time, stress, and cash. With the pandemic this is a good year to cut holiday parties and spend less money for Christmas.
9. Cut Back on Holiday Travel
If you usually travel or go on vacation during the holidays, stay home or cut back on your travel plans. Save money on airfare, gas and mileage by staying home or closer to home around the holidays.
If you travel to see family during this time, invite them to your house instead of paying for airfare for your entire family. If that is not an option, shop around for cheap flights by checking multiple websites and airlines. Book early as airlines tend to raise flight prices as it gets closer to Christmas.
Final Thoughts on How to Cut Spending This Holiday Season
The holiday season can be tough financially and difficult to manage. Try these 9 ways to cut spending this holiday season to save money. Besides spending less on Christmas, try these other ideas to save money during the holiday season.
In addition, try making some extra cash with a side hustle. The easiest side hustle to get cash fast is to sell things you no longer use around your house. Take a look around and list items on facebook marketplace or other buy, sell, trade groups in your area to make some fast cash for the holidays.