In a tight economy, you don’t have to spend too much on Christmas. Your starting point is to make an inventory of what you already have in your home and garage space related to the holiday season. Then you will make a list of essentials and buy only the Christmas items you can afford. Here are three strategies for saving this Christmas season by eliminating unnecessary spending on holiday items.
1. Don’t buy extra gifts for people. You can take care of the family and friends that you absolutely must give gifts. It might be a good idea to eliminate some people like buying gifts for all of your children’s teachers and the mailman. Holiday gift exchange with coworkers is another potential area to cut spending. If you don’t go to the Christmas party, you don’t have to buy a Secret Santa gift, but you might want to remember your boss!
2. Recycle. If you have leftover wrapping paper, boxes, garlands, ribbons, bows, and tiny ornaments left over from last year, plan ahead how you will use these items to wrap Christmas presents. You can plan the gifts you will buy around what packaging and Christmas wrapping you have available. If you are on a very tight budget, you will be amazed by how much the trappings of Christmas add to your seasonal spending.
3. Make handmade cards. For one box of recycled craft card paper and matching envelopes, you can save money by decorating personalized Christmas cards. These cards also make great gifts in combination with a gift card for $5-$15 from companies like Starbucks and Blockbuster. You can remember people on your list with small gifts instead of eliminating them altogether.
Christmas is a time of year for celebrating family and friends When the economy is rough for just about everyone, don’t feel ashamed of what you can’t afford to do compared to more prosperous years. Why spend more than you can this season?