money saving ideas

5 Simple Ways To Save Money This Christmas

I love Christmas and the holiday season. The fun, the giving, the excitement, the children, the food, the tradition – what’s not to love? Yet, every year without fail, so many of us arrive at December 25th tired, disappointed, overextended, and—in a word—broke. It seems like we get caught up in a stampede of sorts and, by the time the first credit card statement hits the mailbox, we’re in over our heads and it’s tough to remember how we got there. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are some money saving ideas that will help you have a better January.

It’s possible to love Christmas, participate in the giving, add meaning to others’ lives, and at the same time avoid the pitfalls of spending more than we can afford. If you don’t want to break the bank this Christmas we have some ideas. Here are 5 ways to save money this Christmas.

1. Make a budget and stick to it.

We know, easier said than done! But there is a foundational principle at play here. We must control our spending, or it will simply run away with itself. Try paying with cash as much as possible. You can even divide your cash into envelopes designated for each person on your list. This makes the budgeting process more concrete, clear-cut, and easy to follow.

2. Be clear about the meaning of Christmas.

Don’t allow yourself to be manipulated by priorities that turn out to be valueless. Who is making the decisions about money? Is it you, and the values your family espouses? Or is it our culture, the power of advertising, and peer pressure? After all, isn’t it your money?

3. Pay attention to cues from your family, and get gifts that will bring joy rather than gifts that will make you feel generous.

Are you buying that expensive bracelet because it will make your wife happy? Or because it will make you feel generous? Learn to listen, plan ahead, and make the giving experience a real treasure hunt.

Don’t be deceived into thinking that a gift is better because it has a larger price tag.

4. Handmade gifts reflect planning, effort, creativity, and love.

They are, in effect, more valuable because they represent creative thought and personal effort. And they’ll save you some money in the process!

5. Value thoughtfulness over cost.

“It’s the thought that counts” may be a cliché… but it’s a cliché because it’s true. Raw dollar amounts say nothing about the gift. Don’t be deceived into thinking that a gift is better because it has a larger price tag.

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What are your favorite things about the holidays?”