- Don’t pay extra for shipping.
I have a strict policy. If it costs extra to ship it in time for Christmas – don’t ship it in time for Christmas. This policy comes from being a mom.
One year, my mom was rushing to get Christmas gifts sent to us just in time for Christmas. As she was heading into the post office she called me for my address. As we were chatting, I realized there was no real reason my kids needed her gifts before Christmas. They got gifts from us, Santa, their other two sets of grandparents and a set of great-grandparents. My kids were just fine.
Plus, presents after Christmas are just as meaningful as the ones you get day of.
Do. Not. Waste. Your. Money. (unless of course you’re Santa himself… and everything is hinging on your gifts – then send away 😉 )
- Skip the Fancy Last-Minute Add-ons
When I think of last-minute Christmas purchases, I think of things like wrapping paper, stockings, candy and stocking-stuffers.
No one is going to remember the wrapping paper. No one needs more candy (Santa put a banana and an orange in my stocking for what it’s worth). Stocking stuffers don’t need to be huge gifts. Keep those babies under $5. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by $25 stockings embroidered with your initials – skip it this year. Grab a cheap stocking from the Dollar Tree or Walmart. Then hit up your favorite retailer for the embroidered stocking the day after Christmas.
- Stop Buying Gifts
At some point in the month of December, you are done buying gifts. BUT retailers still need you to buy stuff. So they keep offering “THE BEST DEAL EVER.” Guess what, it’s not the best deal ever. You don’t need it, your kids don’t need it, your parents don’t need it. You already bought your gifts – stick with it and move forward.
This year, I finished my shopping in November. I have had to say no to so many deals – including a $10 Fisher Price Frozen set and a $28 Hot Wheels track that’s normal double that.
I was strict – even when I had money to spend – and stuck to my budget (thank you very much, Dave Ramsey). Dave would be proud, that money to spend went right to debt.
- Give Fewer Gifts
There is something about that last week or two before Christmas when suddenly you realize everyone you know needs a gift. But wait, there’s the Thompsons and Jensens and Millers and Wilsons – and oh, don’t forget the neighbor. Eek – what did you grab for the teacher’s assistant. And the principal – well he wouldn’t be able to do his job without the secretary. Add another gift card there. And your colleague – make that colleagues with an ‘s’ because they all need recognition. Agh – your boss! What did you get your boss?!
The reality is all of these people don’t need gifts. Try to stick with your initial plan. If you notice someone wasn’t on the list, be choosy and decide whether they really need a gift this year. Go for a special note written in a Christmas card instead.
- Call on Your Inner Martha Stewart A great way to recognize people you love without being a big spender is whipping up some homemade treats. These don’t need to be complicated. It can literally be a bag of chocolate chips or a box of cupcake mix. Don’t make it complicated – and get to it.
Good luck sticking with your budget – and if you need an extra push and some great advice to budgeting throughout the holidays – check out this episode.
Ashleigh and Jason Mayfield got out of more than $60k in debt in a matter of months. AND they started their debt-free journey as the holidays approached. You’ll love their advice – check it out here.