Have you ever spent way too much on Christmas gifts because you weren’t paying attention to how much you were spending?
Have you ever given someone the same thing more than once?
You know those 9×13 personalized cake pans that are ideal for taking to a potluck? They are awesome, and I love the one I was given as a gift. So I decided to get my mom one for Christmas. But at that time, I didn’t keep records of my Christmas purchases, so a couple of years later, I got her another cake pan. Oops! Hope you like cake.
You can save yourself embarrassment and quite a bit of money if you use an expense tracker. You can get the one I use here:
And, if you are looking for ways to save on your Christmas shopping in general, try these tips:
- Shop those sales.
Everyone flocks to Black Friday sales for a reason, but if you’d like to avoid the madness, don’t forget the online deals. Not all businesses wait until Cyber Monday to post their deals. Many start as early as Thanksgiving to drop their prices online, and opt for free shipping or store pickup and miss the crowds.
- Shop throughout the year.
I know, I’m probably telling you this a little too late. But, if you find a great deal on something a friend or family member would love, and it’s the middle of August, get it anyway. Designate one spot in your house for gifts and stockpile everything there so you don’t forget.
- Re-evaluate who you buy gifts for.
Do you get gifts for every member of your extended family? And how much do you spend on each gift? You could suggest your family or group of friends draw names, do a white elephant exchange, set a price limit on gifts, buy for the kids only or just do a group activity together. If this is a little awkward, don’t make it about the money. Suggest these ideas as a way to simplify everyone’s Christmas and just enjoy each other’s company.
- Share your skills and talents.
Give a one-of-a-kind gift by making something for those on your list. Maybe you are a fabulous cook and have a special recipe you can make for your friends. Or if you love making cards, consider creating a small pack of personalized note cards for a close family member. Perhaps you are fantastic with flower arranging and you can craft a cute winter decoration that friends can leave out throughout the winter. These gifts are fun for you to create and are probably more meaningful to receive than a gift you purchase.
- Save cash back or rebates for Christmas shopping.
This is another tip that is best to start in January but will help you save next year. If you have a credit card that gives you cash back or use a particular website or app that gives you rebates each time you make a purchase, save the extra cash for Christmas spending. I have done that this year with our Amazon card, and we have over $100 to put toward our Amazon Christmas purchases.
- Open a separate savings account to save for Christmas throughout the year.
This is an oldie but a goodie. If you know (from your expenses tracker or an expense logging app) that you spend $600 on Christmas, put $50 each month into this designated account, and by December, you’ll have all the money ready for you to use without having to use credit or layaway.
It may take a few extra minutes in planning, but you can save money and simplify your Christmas shopping by using some of these tips. What other ways do you save on Christmas shopping? Send your ideas to email@example.com and I will add your ideas to this post.
And don’t forget to download your free expenses tracker so you can log all of your purchases this year.