Saving More on Christmas

Posted on 13. Dec, 2011 by in Your Wealthy Life

Save at ChristmasThis article was contributed by Nina Bernice. All contents are for information purposes only and must not be substituted for any professional advice.

Saving money during Christmas time can be difficult. While the average American family will probably spend around $600 on gifts this year, there are many other expenses involved with the holiday, such as travel, food, and decorations. In addition to this, there are also a number of other smaller expenses, and potentially the lost wages from taking time off during the holiday.

Fortunately, there are several ways to save money during this season. Start by carefully reviewing the list of people you buy presents for. Consider who can be removed from the list, and who can receive a smaller gift this year. Instead of buying presents, consider making a small gift such as cookies or homemade bath salts. There are hundreds of recipes and directions for homemade gifts available on the internet.

Carefully look through the Christmas decorations you already have on hand, and make a list of what else is really needed. Then, consider what can be used or made from items around the house. Just like gifts, there are hundreds of websites offering directions on how to make Christmas decorations.

Of course, this can be a good time to look at non-holiday expenses and consider where to save money. For example, many people choose to review their insurance policies once a year and look for additional discount or cheap insurance from a different company. Cheap insurance can save several hundred dollars a year, and many insurers can provide the same or better coverage than your current insurance company.

With the extra food that many people need to buy this time of year, it may also be a good time to review the grocery budget. December is a month when many baking supplies go on sale at local supermarkets, making it a good time to stock up on pantry staples such as flour and sugar. Also look for sales on Christmas items such as beef roast and vegetables. While no store will put everything needed for a holiday meal on sale at the same time, it is possible to combine sales at different stores to save a lot on feeding a family and guests this season.

If the family will be hosting guests this season, then it is also a good idea to review utility costs. Nearly thirty percent of home utility costs are related to heating and cooling. The remaining seventy percent includes appliance usage and lighting. Having extra people in a home can raise utility costs by an average of 20% per extra person in a home. To lower these costs, make sure to have your heating system checked out and cleaned by professionals so that it will run more efficiently. Also be sure to conserve heat by improving weather sealing around doors, windows, and appliances.

Saving money around the holidays doesn’t mean that Christmas has to be less fun or festive. In fact, many people who spend less during this time say that they are able to focus on their family more, making the holiday much more meaningful than it was when they spent more money.

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15 Responses to “Saving More on Christmas”

  1. Our families do pot lucks over the holidays. It works great. This way no one family is out paying for all of the food and doing all of the prep.

    Reply to this comment
    • Money Cactus

      14. Dec, 2011

      I think that is a great way for everyone to get involved, share the cost and enjoy the day without worrying about paying for it all later!

      Reply to this comment
  2. ultimatesmartmoney

    14. Dec, 2011

    I am definitely trying to cut costs related to holidays. Big area is the gift. Fortunately for me I do not have a big family so it helps a lot. I also try to save on time and energy by buying online.

    Reply to this comment
    • Money Cactus

      14. Dec, 2011

      I love not having to go to department stores and battling the crowds, the savings online are often just the icing on the cake!

      Reply to this comment
  3. cashflowmantra

    14. Dec, 2011

    We try to make do with the Christmas decorations that we have and maybe add very few from year to year.

    Reply to this comment
    • Money Cactus

      14. Dec, 2011

      We are the same, we don’t change them too much. With as many kids as you have I’d expect they would make enough Christmas decorations at school to fill your tree each year!

      Reply to this comment
  4. YFS

    14. Dec, 2011

    I save a ton of money by not decorating lol. Until I have children I will be visiting family in Philadelphia. Bah humbug 🙂

    Reply to this comment
    • Money Cactus

      14. Dec, 2011

      Ha! fair enough, my wife loves decorating the tree and the baby loves playing with all the ornaments. It is now a full time job guarding the tree from small hands!

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  5. If you are going to have a tree or decorate, do it early! That way you get a better tree and enjoy it for more! Otherwise we have a freezer full of meat and food that we have bought at un-festive prices and yes, we are quite frugal when it comes to presents. Otherwise a few bottles of bubbly, funny hats and everything is just the same – you really don’t have to spend a fortune!

    Reply to this comment
    • Money Cactus

      14. Dec, 2011

      Good advice. I think people often get a little carried away at Christmas time, but there really isn’t any reason to. A little forward planning goes a long way.

      Reply to this comment
  6. Pam at MoneyTrail

    14. Dec, 2011

    We involve our kids in mini-budgeting tasks. I will give them an amount for a category (ie. teacher’s gifts) and they will come up with the gifts or ideas. They can usually stay within the budget.

    Reply to this comment
    • Money Cactus

      14. Dec, 2011

      That is a great way to get kids thinking about the cost of things. Good to hear they usually come in on budget too 🙂

      Reply to this comment
  7. World of Finance

    14. Dec, 2011

    I think it’s a great idea to give people something they will use and need, instead of something that will just sit around the house once the newness wears off….

    Reply to this comment
  8. youngandthrifty

    20. Dec, 2011

    I made a budget this year (with decreases in allotted spending amounts for each person lol) and suggested to friends that we make homemade xmas presents.

    It has been great to see the creativity of my friends and the presents I received were the best I ever had!

    Reply to this comment

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