Does Christmas feel less like a cause to celebrate and more like a daunting imposition on your wallet? The pressure to overspend over the holidays is real, and as you get older, the expectations change.
Once you’re an adult, there’s an expectation that you should give as much as you get, but that can be a real challenge when you’re already struggling to save.
Don’t despair. The holidays should be full of goodwill and cheer. What you need is a way to celebrate the holidays on a budget, without feeling guilty about it.
5 Tips to Budget Your Way Through a Merry Christmas
#1 Start the Debt Relief Process: Tips to Budget
Already buried in debt and dreading the extra spending that comes with the holiday season? If you’ve already bitten off more than you can chew, it’s time to discover debt relief solutions available to you.
One option is a Debt Consolidation Program, which is offered through a non-profit credit counseling agency. In a Debt Consolidation Program, you combine two or more debts into a single monthly payment administered by a certified Credit Counsellor.
The Credit Counsellor also negotiates lower (or zero) interest rates and helps you create a personal monthly budget to make those payments. Getting relief now can help you enjoy your holidays with a clear plan and on a budget.
#2 Secret Santa or White Elephant Gift Exchange
When it comes to extended families, the numbers for gift buying really start to add up. You can save hundreds of dollars by playing a gift game instead, where each person only needs to purchase one present.
One unique way to have fun and save money is to follow white elephant gift exchange rules, where people vie for the best gift out of them all. Otherwise, Secret Santa is a tried-and-true method.
#3 Go with Meaningful Decorations
You don’t need a massive display in your living room or outside to get into the festive spirit. While there are plenty of magazines and shows that would have you bust out your credit card for a huge display, sometimes all you need is some string lights to make a room feel brighter and more hospitable during the holidays.
#4 Limit Gifts for Kids
It’s one thing to cut down on gifts for your adult extended family, but it’s a whole other world when you’re a parent yourself. If you want to stick to a budget and cut down on expensive toys or electronics, use the four gift rule. It’s a simple rule that limits gifts to one thing that they want, one thing that they need, one thing to wear, and one thing to read.
#5 Give Yourself More to Look Forward To
Does the prospect of doing the holidays on a budget get you down? Stretch the joys of the holidays out by spreading out some of the things you would normally do to get into the spirit of things.
Some fun ideas include doing a “12 Days of Christmas” where you watch a different holiday movie each night. Get to see all your holiday favorites and give yourself an excuse to cozy up on the couch.
You can enjoy the holidays without stretching your budget beyond repair. Use these Tips to Budget and enjoy a stress-free, lower-cost vacation.