Day 25: Cut Holiday Spending

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This post is part of the 31 Days to Radically Reduce Your Expenses series. Visit this page for even more ways to slash costs and eliminate unnecessary spending! 

Keep your budget on track this Christmas with 6 creative ways to cut Holiday spending. #6 saved us $200!

The Holidays are coming up real soon {in fact, Christmas is only 2 months away!} and already, we are in panic mode over here about how much money we’ll have to spend. Last year, both Joseph and I were blown away with the cost of gifts, food, and all the other supplies that somehow make or break the actual day, and this year, we are determined more than ever to come in under budget…no matter what.

But I hate that we have to worry about things like that.

Because when you really stop and think about it, the Holidays are for remembering the true reason for each and every celebration, and enjoying the limited time you have with family and friends. It’s a time to step back, and reflect on the past year full of blessings, and look towards new ones with anticipation and excitement. It’s not about spending. <– {Click to Tweet}

Still, we have to be careful with our dollars during a season when they can so easily spiral out of control. Here are 6 creative ways to cut costs, and create a stress-free day!

How to Cut Holiday Spending:

1. Start Saving Now – Christmas should not come as a surprise to anyone. It’s the same day, in December, every year, and we have 364 days to prep and plan for it — so let’s use that time wisely! I personally start setting aside money every January using this method, so by the time Christmas rolls around, I know exactly where the money is coming from to buy gifts. If you haven’t saved anything for Christmas yet, it’s not too late to start.

2. Determine a Budget – Depending on how many gifts, supplies, or food you need to purchase, it might be a good idea to divvy up costs and budget separately for each line item. We only budget for gifts since we rarely spend much at all on supplies and food, but it’s definitely a habit worth getting into if you find yourself playing hostess more often then not. If you’re new to budgeting, read the Beginner’s Guide to Budgeting which explains how to do it in really simple steps.

3. Get Creative with Gifts – I’m not sure why, but I love thinking of creative gifts for everyone, and it’s easier to do than you might think! Read 10 Days to Finding the Perfect Gift if you need to brush up on your gifting skills, and start a gifting Pinterest board to collect ideas. I add tutorials to my DIY gifts board almost every week — I just need to find the time to sit down and work on them!

4.  Stock up on Baking Supplies {and Get a Head Start} – In case you haven’t noticed yet, grocery stores are starting to discount almost all of their baking supplies. Take advantage of this and stock up wherever you have room! We go through chocolate chips, flour, and sugar like crazy, so it makes sense to grab enough for the pantry to last me until next year. You should also get a head start on Holiday baking. Cookies, pies, and all sorts of sweet treats almost always freeze well, and you won’t have to spend every waking moment in the kitchen preparing food for your special guests.

5.  DIY Your Decor – You don’t have to spend money on cheap decor items that fall apart. Just do some sleuthing on Pinterest to find gorgeous decorating projects that are quick and easy! I have quite a few listed on my So This is Christmas board. Print out a cute printable and buy a cheap frame from the dollar or craft store, or use up fabric scraps on pretty Christmas trees and wreaths. The possibilities are endless — you just have to get a little creative!

6. Celebrate on a Different Day {or Week} – Because we moved down to Florida only last year, and had a wedding that Summer to attend back in NY, we were running a little low on funds for Christmas plane tickets. {Which if you haven’t had a chance to look lately, they cost a pretty penny around the Holidays!}. We decided to fly up in early January and celebrate Christmas with my family then. No, it wasn’t exactly on Christmas Day, but we still had a great time, and saved about $200 on airfare. There’s no harm in pushing pack your celebrations for a few days or even weeks. You can have Christmas whenever you want to have Christmas!

Today’s Challenge:

Start planning your Christmas budget with this handy worksheet, then keep your eye out for creative and thrifty gift ideas. Share with me your best Holiday saving tips in the comments below, or tweet @KalynBr00ke using #ReduceYourExpenses!

{Go to Day 26: Grab Gift-Giving Supplies for Less}

If monthly payments are taking control of your budget, you don't want to miss this 31 Days Series to Radically Reduce Your Expenses.

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  1. I shop year round for Christmas gifts – starting for the next year almost as soon as this Christmas is over. That way, I can take my time and find great deals on gifts that I know my family will love. I also second your point on stocking up on baking supplies – and starting to bake – now! I just stocked up on sugar and am waiting for a good sale on chocolate chips.

    1. I always tell myself I’m going to shop year-round, and it never happens! Here’s to a new resolution in 2015. 🙂

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