Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy and cheer, but it’s SO easy to let the pressure of gift giving add stress to the holiday season. The good news is, it truly doesn’t have to be stressful. There are so many little ways to help you stay on (or under) budget for gifts this year. Here are my BEST tips for a budget-friendly Christmas:
The 4 Gift Rule
It is so easy to get swept into the holiday spirit and overbuy. This leaves you with an empty wallet, and honestly, leaves your children overwhelmed with new things. The 4 gift rule is a easy guideline to keep your spending in check. Here’s how it works:
Something they Want
This is where the Christmas list comes into play. Make sure your children know that they will NOT be receiving everything that they ask for. If they are old enough, help them to prioritize their list based on what they want most.
Something they Need
The beauty of this one is that it can double as something they want. This could be sports equipment, musical instruments, electronics for school or homework, new shoes, etc.
Something to Wear
It is known in my house that my children (and husband) get socks and underwear for Christmas. This is something that you need to buy them anyway, so why not turn it into a gift?! You can pair them with a new outfit to wrap up a complete gift. Clothing will likely get much more use than all the toys that get left lying around your house.
Something to Read
The importance of encouraging a love of reading and learning is something that goes without saying. Often in school children are told what books to read. Take this as an opportunity to get your children a book about something that interests them.
Give the Gift of Family Memberships
- A family membership to a place your children love to visit is the best way to save money all year long. One membership covers the whole family, but it qualifies as a gift for each person individually.
- Though it costs a little more up front, most family memberships pay themselves off within two visits.
- This is a great thing to ask family members for!
Use Cash-Back Apps
Cash back apps can save you a TON of money online and in the store. These are some of my favorites, but there are many more out there like them.
Ebates (Online Shopping)
Gives you a percentage of cash back if you access the store’s website through the app. Everything works exactly the same, but you get a percentage back for what you paid. Percentages vary from 1% to 40%. I personally earned $100 cash back in just one week.
Dosh (Shopping In-Store)
This is an “effortless” app, meaning that you attach a card to your account and the app does the work for you. When you shop at one of the dozens of partner stores, you automatically receive cash back when you use that card. Stores and percentages vary, but right now Walmart is giving 6% cash back on your entire purchase. I’ve gotten $50 dollars cash back just shopping for groceries.
These are two different apps that essentially do the same thing. You link your email and/or Amazon account to the app and it accesses receipts for purchases you have made online. The app tracks and watches these items for changes in price. If the price drops, the app lets you know if you can get a price adjustment or rebate on these items.