The holiday season is getting closer every day, so it is time to save money for Christmas! If you haven’t started setting money aside for the holidays, or need some more ideas, you are in the perfect place right now. Keep on reading!
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1. Set a Budget
First things first: you need a budget.
But that is not hard to do at all. I like setting budgets since it allows me to track my expenses better and know my limits.
1. Figure out how many people you want to get gifts for, and how much you want to spend on them.
2. Count everything together and you have your budget! It is super important to stick to the budget.
Another way to set a budget is the way around.
1. Set the maximum amount you can spend on Christmas (I subtract some from it to be on the safer side).
2. Divide that amount by the number of people you want to get gifts for. Now you have the amount of money you can spend on each person.
2. Make a Savings Plan
No matter how much time you have left before Christmas, you can create a savings plan for it.
Example: You have 8 weeks left before Christmas. If you want to have $600 saved by then, you would have to save $75 each week.
That money can go into a jar, an envelope, or a bank account, whatever you prefer.
You can find dozens of those savings plans and challenges all over Pinterest. Here are some good ones I think would work pretty well:
3. Use Cashback Programs
If you don’t know much about cashback programs, they are affiliate partners of the listed brands and shops and give you a certain percentage of their profit if you buy through their website/link.
That way you can save money while shopping on the site you needed to anyway. Isn’t that great?
My favorite one is Swagbucks and I not only use it for cashback but also surveys to get some extra points I can then redeem into gift cards (to give to others for Christmas) or cash.
Related: 15+ Ways to Make Money
4. DIY Gifts
Another great way to save money for Christmas, or on Christmas, is to give away homemade gifts. Those can save lots of money while being personal and often more sustainable than bought gifts.
Pinterest has a lot of great gift guides and ideas available when you search for them. You can check out my Pinterest here!
I always try to find ideas that I can do at home, with some extras I might have to get for them. Those gifts are loved and appreciated by everyone who gets them, and I will definitely continue my tradition.
Also, make sure to sign up for my 30 days of gift ideas series!
5. Side Hustles
If you have read my posts about how to make money as a student, you know I love side hustles!
My blog is all about helping students make and save money and build their own businesses to be independent and travel more! These tips can be applied to ANYONE who wants to make money though. I listed them “for students” because they are easy to do even without a degree or experience.
Check out the best side hustles and ideas here:
If you start on time, or even just before Christmas (having money is always helpful), you can make some money on the side and avoid losing a lot of money during the holidays.
6. Thrift/ buy Second Hand
I know we all want to please our loved ones, but who said that second hand purchased items are less worth?
You can often find incredible items in second hand or thrift stores if you just look through them well.
That doesn’t have to be clothing. Stores often sell books, DVDs, CDs, and much more on low prices. Just check if everything is complete and without major signs of use.
Related: Zero Waste School Supplies for Students (great gift ideas!)
7. Give Experiences
We have a tradition in my family that every Christmas we write down one thing we want to do with another person the next year in addition to having one gift for each family member. (of course, we got more than one gift as kids, but really one would be fine too)
There are hundreds of free activities (look on Pinterest) that you can write onto a nice card and give away for Christmas.
Giving away experiences is honestly worth so much more than some cheap item from the store.
Everyone has so much clutter these days that they don’t even know what to do with it. We live in such a consuming world, and especially Christmas gifts often turn out to just clutter our homes.
I can really recommend trying this and make Christmas more about our loved ones and memories, than materialistic gifts.
8. Shop Early
You can also save money for Christmas by avoiding the huge sales that happen all through December.
Space out your gift shopping and buy things when you really see something that reminds you of someone on your Christmas-gift-list. That way, you can make sure to be less stressed and feel good about getting something more valuable than a last-minute gift you don’t even think the person will like.
9. Sell your Things
If you have some stuff you haven’t used in a year, and it’s nothing special, you can add some money to your Christmas savings by selling them.
You could also use things you have and don’t need for any homemade gifts you planned on making if you don’t feel like selling them.
Selling things you don’t need really gives you more space to breathe (literally) and gets you some extra money too.
10. Use Amazon Prime
Obviously that costs you some money, but if you plan on purchasing the majority of your gifts off Amazon, it can be worth purchasing a subscription to save you money in the long run.
I personally only use Amazon whenever I have no other option because I’m aiming for a low-waste lifestyle and Amazon isn’t the most sustainable option out there.
But that is just my personal opinion. I do know the advantages of Amazon Prime though, and it is definitely worth using for the holiday season.
Get a free 30-day trial here. (perfect for December if you ask me!)
To save money for Christmas, it is important to: start saving early, do side hustles, use cashback programs, and aim for experiences and homemade gifts.
Need gift ideas? I will do a 30-day last-minute gift ideas series for my email subscribers November 23 – December 23! So opt-in now so you don’t miss the fun.