With the holiday season fast approaching comes the stresses of spending within your budget. Especially this year with covid and most of us being affected financially it’s the best year to be smart shoppers! Here are my 5 tips on how to shop on a budget this holiday season whether you’re a broke college kid or a mom looking to save some money. Plus I’ve included some gift ideas at the end!
Disclaimer: This blog post may contain affiliate links, meaning If you choose to buy from them I receive a small fee at no extra cost to you. This has no impact on you, it just helps me keep this site up and running! You can find full disclosure here
1. Reduce Day To Day Costs
If you’re looking to buy gifts for Hanukkah, Christmas, or the new year the good news is, you still have time to utilize other ways of paying for gifts. For example, try to reduce costs in other parts of your life that can go towards a gift budget. This can include not buying coffee every day, reducing your cable package to a cheaper option, or using your heating system wisely so your electric bill isn’t super high. Also skip any extra decorations such as gift bags and ribbons. If you must get those items or wrapping paper try the dollar store for cheap alternatives!
Any money you save should be put towards your fund that you will spend on gifts. I also recommend having this budget put aside in cash so you don’t dip into your savings with your credit or debit card. I also have a whole blog post on other ways to save money that you can read here.
2. Be Realistic About Gifts This Year
If your financials were affected this year due to the pandemic it’s okay to acknowledge that with your friends and family. Set realistic expectations and know that Christmas might not be the same this year and that’s okay. It’s been a stressful year and while you can still celebrate, gifts aren’t the only way to do that. If you’re a parent with kids, let them know that this year’s gifts will look different, and if they’ve been looking forward to a new laptop or camera maybe save that gift for next year or their birthday.
Making your own gifts is always a great gift idea especially if you’re a college student or younger. Does your mom enjoy cooking? Put together a recipe book! You can even put together gift baskets with 5-6 small items such as fuzzy socks, nail polish, coffee mugs, etc. These are always my favorite because they’re customizable, personal, and affordable!
3. Utilize Other Methods Of Paying
If you have old gift cards use those to buy gifts this year or even reward points from your credit cards. Also, make sure to utilize black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Because of the pandemic stores will be having most of their Black Friday sales online or only be doing cyber Monday deals. This is the best time to get your hands on gifts at a cheaper value. You can keep up with all black Friday deals here. If you’re shopping online make sure to search for coupons or download the Honey extension that automatically applies coupons for you.
4. Skip The Traveling
Since we’re in a pandemic and aren’t even supposed to be having large gatherings stick to celebrating the holidays with your family. This will also help you save money so you don’t have to buy a plane ticket to go to a relative’s house. This will also be a good way to limit the number of gifts you have to get. I know it’s not ideal and everyone would love to have big holiday parties with their extended family but that isn’t possible or safe right now. Take this holiday season to have intimate gatherings with your immediate family and only exchange gifts with them.
5. Suggest A Secret Santa
If you’re exchanging gifts with your family or friends, try a secret Santa this year instead of buying individual gifts for everyone. Instead, you can set a budget and get 2-3 thoughtful gifts for one person instead of 1 gift for everyone that exceeds your budget. Make sure to set an amount that works with everyone’s financials. I know this is harder with young kids because they don’t have money to spend and you want to get them all something. So if this is the case for your family then try to be realistic when gifting each of your kids a present. They don’t need AirPods or a super expensive toy they’ll only play with for a month. You can find some great gifts on Amazon for under $50!
Here are some holiday gift ideas while on a budget (under $50)
The perfect gift for college students:
The perfect gift for teens:
Gifts for mom:
Gifts for dad:
Here are some holiday gift ideas if you have a higher budget (under $100)
That’s it for this weeks blog post, I hope you guys enjoyed! Have any other tips for budgeting during the holidays? Make sure to comment them down below.