The holidays can be a really difficult time for many people, particularly if finances are tight. With four children, I know that Christmas can take a big bite out of a family’s budget so we look for ways to save money while still having a special and happy holiday. You don’t have to sacrifice anyone’s happiness by saving a few dollars.
Here are some suggestions on how to get through the holidays without breaking the bank:
- Make gifts – baked goods, handmade crafts, personal photographs, your handyman (or woman) services, etc. These gifts are often the most special ones, because they require a lot of thought and time. Here are some more handmade gift ideas:
- knit or crocheted items
- caramel corn or snack mix
- Cookie mix jars
- message boards
- repurpose items like mason jars into candle holders
- Set spending limits. Agree as a family to only spend X amount of dollars on each other, and stick to your budget. This gives a sense of fairness for everyone.
- Draw names. Rather than purchasing gifts for everyone in the extended family, draw names from a hat and everyone just buys ones gift. We do this on one side of our family and then play a game where we can steal the gifts from one another. It makes Christmas about spending time together rather than giving things to one another.
- Don’t indulge the children unnecessarily. Children don’t need to get a huge number of gifts in order to be happy. A few special gifts can go a long way.
- Make your family dinner a pot luck. Have family members each bring a dish, making it an affordable event for everyone. It also gives everyone a chance to share their favourite dishes!
The holidays should be a happy time to spend with family, not a stressful time to worry about money. Do you have any money saving tips for getting through the holidays? Please share them in the comments.