How to celebrate Christmas on a budget

A man wearing a christmas hat.

Anyone can plan Christmas on a budget. (Photo: untitled13/Flickr/CC BY-ND)

Families everywhere are looking for ways to celebrate Christmas on a budget. The economy has changed the nature of consumerism, as many hard-working individuals are still hurting and undergoing financial crisis. Nevertheless, celebrating Christmas on a budget doesn’t mean you have to cut down on quality. There are many things you can do to ease the financial burden and still enjoy the holidays without burning holes through your wallet.

Set a limit and plan Christmas on a budget

Celebrating Christmas on a budget requires some simple calculations. You need to know how much holiday cash you can afford to spend this year. Looking at your monthly income and expenses — such as food, utilities, rent, car payment, etc. — will help you determine the exact dollar amount for gifts and other holiday purchases. Once you know your limit, make sure to stick to it.

Do what Santa does and make a list

Have your list prepared at all times before any shopping trip. This will help you stay on track and avoid impulse buying. Write out all the names of people you plan on buying gifts for and assign one item to each name. Remember, you don’t always have to buy a gift for each person; you can get one gift for an entire group or family.

Christmas on a budget requires smart shopping

Don’t always settle on the first price you look up. Chances are, another retailer may have the same item up for sale, but at a lower price. Take the time to shop around for the best prices. Your Christmas budget will be thankful for it.

‘It’s the little things that count’

Another way to save money is to cut out any small holiday expense. Unless you find a really good deal, it’s best to wait until close to the last minute to get all the little miscellaneous things, such as gift wrapping paper. If you wait until the week before Christmas, you can usually get  wrapping paper for 50 to 70 percent or more off. So pay attention to the little things; they can help you plan a Christmas on a budget.

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