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Money Saving Tips For The Holidays

Updated on January 8, 2013


Everyone loves the holidays but the holidays can be a huge financial drain.

The reason most people have so much trouble around the holidays is simply because they rarely plan for them until it's too late.

By thinking ahead every year and doing some planning in advance, you can cut down your stress level. You can also come out on the other side of the holidays without feeling like you've spent a fortune.

Here are some tips on how to keep the giving in Christmas but not empty your pockets.

For more ideas on how to have a budget-friendly holiday season, join me for my interview on Flora Brown's Internet radio program Color Yourself Happy - Budget Friendly Gift Ideas Make Sense.



  • Plan ahead. Set aside the money every month rather than being forced into coming up with holiday money.

    Decide what your budget should be for the holidays, divide it by 11 or 12 and start saving!

    Put it into an account that will draw interest and don't touch it until you're ready to spend.

  • Throughout the year, think about what kinds of gifts which might be one-of-a-kind yet not cost the major chunk of your Christmas budget.

    Less can be so much more when the gift is thoughtful and appropriate to the person you're gifting.

    Pay careful attention to the people you're buying for and their lifestyle and give a gift that is truly something they'll treasure....and is on sale!
  • Only buy it if it's on sale! Especially during the holidays it makes no sense to pay full price for ANYTHING.

    If you can't find it cheaper somewhere else or on sale somewhere, then just let it go and come up with a different gift.
  • Consider drawing names for gifts if you have a large family or a huge circle of friends.

    It makes more sense sometimes to be able to afford one quality gift rather than trying to spread funds over many gifts.
  • Think about making gifts yourself. Do you have a special talent such as art or calligraphy?

    Work on projects during the year for people and then give them at the holidays. No one could help but treasure a homemade masterpiece.

    Do you sew? Making placemats or napkins and combining them with unique napkin rings makes a great gift.

    Even homemade breads, jellies, baked goods are all great gifts.

    Homemade dog treats are another super gift for the dog lover.
  • Gift cards. Although some people frown on gift cards, personally I love them. I don't care what the amount of the card is because I'm just tickled to have something to spend that's all my own.

    No matter what the gift card is for, anyone can use ready cash. When buying gift cards, make sure you buy the ones without a fee for can cost you $4-5 per card if you get the wrong ones.

    Also always send the receipt so that they can get a new card if for some reason it doesn't work.
  • Don't pull out your charge cards unless you can guarantee that you are going to pay them off the next month.

    Going into debt year after year for Christmas doesn't make sound financial sense.

    It also takes some of the joy out of the season when you know you shouldn't really be spending that money.
  • Purchase decorative gift boxes at Costco or other discount stores and skip wrapping paper....or use gift bags.

    Recycle them so that you use them over and over.

    Save bows and ribbon if it's not damaged and use them again the next year.
  • Cut back on decorations. Having a decorative string of lights is the same as lighting up the entire outside of your house and it saves money.
  • Get a permit and go to designated areas and cut down a tree. In our area, you can get a permit for $5 from the Forestry Department and cut down a Christmas tree. Not a bad deal!
  • Buy everything on line and have it shipped. Brick-and-mortar shipping costs during the holidays are outrageous.

    After meticulously hitting every sale and finding the perfect gifts, only to have your "savings" eaten up by the high cost of shipping is just plain discouraging.

    Use the post office for small packages and use UPS and FedEx for larger packages if you must ship.

    Check on line for weight and size breakdowns and figure out how you can best save money.

    Or buy items on line and have them shipped (gift wrapped if you like) right to the person on your list.

    Again, the money you save on shipping fees, even if there is a charge, will be less.
  • Consider a gift out of the ordinary. Something like meeting somewhere for a special vacation (that you researched and got outstanding discounts on) might be worth all the presents in the world under the tree.

    Think outside the box and consider other of yourself or your time can be a spectacular gift.

    Doing things for people who can't do them themselves is a wonderful way to show that you care and you don't have to spend a dime.


These are just some of the many ways that you can save money over the holidays. 

Give some of these a try this coming year and see if you don't find that there are many ways you can still enjoy the holidays and save money at the same time.

If you have more money-saving tips on how to save money over the holidays, please leave them as comments below. 

We can all use help in learning how to spend budget-friendly holidays!


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