Even if you only have a month to save Christmas money, it’s not too late to budget for the holiday season! These tips for saving money range from redeeming credit card awards to buying holiday gifts in bulk.
“These savings, which amount to at least $750, are almost enough to pay for holiday shopping in its entirety,” Ewing said. “Those savings make fall the perfect season to begin planning for a happy holiday — and a healthy financial picture for the holidays.”
A popular way to save money on Christmas gifts is to make your own presents — but that does not work for me. I have no “crafty” skills or talents! But, there’s hope for people like me: we can make our own holiday gifts with something like a candle making kit — the one pictured takes you through the steps, it’s inexpensive and fun to do! Click the kit in the picture for details, and read on for tips on saving Christmas money before the holiday season hits…
How to Save Christmas Money Before the Holiday Season
Thank you Ethan Ewing, president of Bills.com, for these money saving tips!
Make a Christmas holiday gift list. List all gift recipients and begin thinking of what to give them. For those who wish to make gifts, great news: there’s still time! You can learn to knit a scarf or make a personalized scrapbook before the holidays (or get a candle making kit).
Start budgeting for the holiday season today. Before employing any other Christmas money savings tactics, create a holiday budget. Calculate the amount of Christmas money you’ll have to spend on holiday festivities. Ewing says, “Make sure to include everyone you’ll give a gift to, as well as Christmas cards and postage, decorations, entertaining, tips for service providers; and travel costs.” For more ideas, read 10 Christmas Money Saving Tips – Holiday Gift Shopping.
Redeem your credit card rewards. Check credit card statements to add up available rewards “points.” Then, visit the rewards Web site to convert rewards into cash or gift cards. Swapping for one gift card might save $50. If you have old credit card accounts, read 3 Tips for Managing Credit Card Accounts.
Use cash or a debit card (instead of a credit card). Studies show that people spend around 15 percent more on purchases paid with a credit card. For individuals whose holiday spending plans come close to last year’s average planned spending of $830, not using credit could reduce that by $125.
Stop drinking lattes and cappuccinos over the holiday season. To save Christmas money, break up with the barista. Over the past two years of recession, people have bought fewer expensive coffee drinks. Yet Starbucks’ revenues are rebounding, which is an indicator that people might be ordering again. Breaking a twice-a-week latte habit until the holidays are over could save $120 by year-end!
Save your spare change every day. Turn the coins in at the bank or a coin-counting machine. Either use the payback to buy holiday gifts or, if the machine offers gift cards instead of receiving cash, use those for holiday shopping. Saving $1 a day will add up to $100 (if you start saving Christmas money 100 days before the holiday season!).
Don’t buy holiday gifts for yourself. Last year, shoppers reported that they planned to take advantage of holiday sales to spend $120 on themselves. Resist the temptation to buy holiday gifts for yourself and be $120 richer. And, when you’re doing your Christmas shopping, consider buying healthy holiday gifts — they can be less expensive than traditional gifts. Read 5 Healthy Holiday Gift Ideas for info.
Buy holiday gifts in bulk. For recipients like teachers, bosses and coaches, arrange to give a group gift. By pitching in, a group can offer a quality thank-you gift and save around $15 per person. One example is buying a case of wine, and giving a bottle to different people on your holiday list. Another possibility is to get a kit to make a bunch of Christmas stocking for gifts, which is great for teachers, coaches, and family members — click on the stocking for more info.
For more tips, read 12 Easy Ways to Save Money for Christmas – Start With Un-Spending.
If you have any thoughts on these ways to save Christmas money before the holiday season, please comment below!