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Enjoying Christmas on a Budget

The year of 2019 is coming to a close, and that of course means the holiday season is upon us! For many, this time of year is exciting and full of hot cocoa and goodies, while for others it can be a little stressful hosting family, buying holiday food, and of course, being responsible to stock the tree with Christmas gifts. Holiday gift giving can sometimes be tough when you are on a budget; however, there are a lot of ways to have a merry Christmas on a budget! Speedy Cash is here to happily provide some insight on just how to do that!  

Let’s dive into a few ways that offer a stress-free, money-conscious Christmas in 2019: 

Create a Budget 

It can be easy to overspend! Unless you budget a specific dollar amount, loosing track of gifts and spending happens more often than we realize.  To ensure this doesn’t happen, pre-determine how much you can afford, or would like to spend, during the month of December on gifts, decorations and extra holiday food. It also helps to overestimate the price on each item; this way when tax and other potential hidden charges are included, you’re not caught off guard when you see your final bill. 

 Find Extra Savings 

Consider taking a few extra moments to find more savings: 

  • Look for discount codes in your local paper, in flyers, and when online shopping. 
  • Many online sites and apps offer coupons or discount codes when buying online. For example, ‘Honey’, is an app you can download to your phone and it will generate coupons for you at checkout to ensure you get the best deal on your purchase. There is even a website called ‘Ebates’, where you can receive cash back on most of your purchases! 
  •  Sign up for a store’s email list to get the latest deals when they are happening. In fact, a lot of stores offer extra discounts when you sign up in their system with an email. Typically, you can get an additional 10-20% off your purchase when you sign up as a new subscriber. You can even create new email addresses to get multiple discounts!  
  • Use a cash back credit card to earn some value on your spending. 

Inexpensive, or Free Gift Ideas 

We touched on this topic in a previous Facebook post but, if you can’t afford to give a physical gift for Christmas, try offering someone your time. “Your presence is the best present”. If you have a special skill such as woodworking, landscape, DIY’s or anything of the sorts, hone in on your skills. The financial value will be much greater than anything you would have found at the local mall, and it could be extra special for the person receiving your gift. The best part? It typically doesn’t cost you much except a bit of your time. 

 Gift Alternatives 

Sometimes, an experience can be worth more than any wrapped-up gift under a tree. Instead of spending money on presents, why not consider taking your loved ones to a dinner at your favorite restaurant, an evening spent bowling, or at the zoo! The memories you take away from sharing an experience can sometimes result in a better gift than any material item you can give them. Another alternative to gift giving is using the “Secret Santa” exchange.  Instead of buying a gift for each person, put everyone’s name into a hat and draw. Then, as a group you can all agree on a dollar amount to spend. This way, you’re only buying a present for one person rather than everyone. 

 Talk to your Family and Friends 

If you are on a tight budget, talk to your family and friends about your concerns with the holidays and the stress of gift giving. Often, if you feel like you are required to buy presents for your loved ones when you just don’t have the money to do so, it can end up being frustrating. Talk to your loved ones and let them know about your situation. Chances are you are much more worried about giving than they are about receiving. 

All in all, Christmas is meant to be a joyous time of year spent with your loved ones. Don’t let the fear of giving prevent you from enjoying the holidays in full!  The gift of your time is always best of all! 

Merry Christmas from Speedy Cash!