How to Save Money for Christmas Gifts Even on a Tight Budget
Let’s say you want to save money for Christmas shopping but your family budget is already pretty tight. Still, you have kids to buy for, gifts for Grandma and Grandpa to purchase, a family or service member you want to help during the holidays, and not much, if anything, in the bank.
Basically, you know you need to find a way to save money for Christmas, and you just don’t know where you can get money to save.
Even if you just have 6 -8 weeks left until the holidays, there are ways to save money that can put a substantial amount in your Christmas savings account for gifts, no matter how tight your finances might be.
How to Save Money for Christmas Gifts
1. Find a special but safe place for your dollars and change.
If your family bank account will work for you, use that, but keep a balance sheet of the money you put into the account for gifts.
Better yet, start a second account you can keep going after the holidays to add funds to for gift giving, holidays, or just extra family expenses as you determine you want to do after the new year.
Perhaps the best way to save money on such a short term basis is to find a large, glass jar (or other such container) where you can place savings into and in which you feel would be secure. Make it a container with a large opening which permits you to easily put your saved dollars and coins into and which you can easily see progress.
Also, to make full use of this way to save, pull out some cash from your bank account and have cash on hand to go into the savings jar. Until it is put there, keep it in your wallet for use as routinely needed. When you know it can be used on a purchase you might not really, really need or saved for Christmas gifts, you’ll be more likely to NOT want to use it and will find ways to not use it if at all possible.
2. Sit down as a family and list ways you think you might be able to save money quickly and for only a short period of time.
Sometimes family members will give up something that seems important to them for a couple of months whereas they don’t feel they would want to give something up completely. Even just a few dollars on something each week can add up to quite a bit, and if you can save just a few dollars on 10 different things each week, you’ll see amazing results you never thought possible.
Consider these tips for possible savings, thinking about where YOU might have some wiggle room to save some bucks for 8 weeks:
Save $1.50 for each load of laundry you dry outside as opposed to drying the items in your clothes dryer. Is this something you might be able to do even just ONE time a week? That wouldn’t be so bad, would it, and you might like the fresh smell of your linen! Remember, we are talking about just doing that for one load per week and for only 8 weeks. $1.50 x 8 weeks = $12.00 saved.
Save $6.00 each week by cooking a thrifty meatless meal one time per week, saving on the purchase of meat. $6.00 x 8 = $48.00.
Save $20.00 a month by downgrading to a lesser cable package (or to none at all) for 8 weeks. That’s just 8 weeks there, guys… 2 months… at a savings of $20.00 per month. $20.00 x 2 = $40.00.
Save $25.00 a week by substituting a low cost noodle or rice recipe with your weekly trip to McDonalds or Taco Bell. Remember, it’s only for 8 weeks, and if your kids just can’t tolerate the loss completely, eat the low cost dinner at home and just go to McDonalds for an ice cream cone or a value drink from the value menu. $25.00 week x 8 = $200.00.
Save $2.00 a week by limiting (if your family drinks a lot of) or eliminating (if your family doesn’t drink a lot of) bottled or canned soda purchases and substituting that amount for drinking water from the tap. $2.00 x 8 = $16.00.
Have a game night at home in lieu of going to the movies for two times over a two month period. $30.00 x 2 = $60.00 saved.
Get an extra gallon of gas basically free of charge by filling your tank early in the morning when the gas is denser (the thought is you would get more), or find other ways to save gas. Estimated savings of $4.00 (per tank) x 8 times (if you fill it up one time per week) = $32.00 saved, (and yes, put that in your big saving jar!)
Save $10.00 a week using coupons, or making an effort to use more coupons than you have been doing. $10.00 x 8 = $80.00.
Save $10.00 a week by researching local sales, planning meals around the sales, and purchasing loss leaders in the grocery stores. $10.00 x 8 = $80.00. (Disclosure, you can save a WHOLE lot more than this amount doing this, but this is assuming you’ve never done this before and will be learning, or that you have already been doing this and will have to learn to do it even better during your 8 week period.)
Save $10.00 a week by setting your thermostat at a higher (or lower) setting than you might otherwise set it at. $10.00 x 8 = $80.00 saved in 8 weeks.
Total saved in 8 weeks – $648.00
Now there is a list of just 10 things which could be planned for just 8 weeks alone, and that list alone results in a total savings of $648.00 saved for gift giving! Can you imagine how much more you could save in 8 weeks if you could think of 5 to 10 more areas of thriftiness, discipline, and savings!
You may have a different list of areas where your family could sacrifice or tune up on.
However, the purpose of this exercise here was to show you that even though small things may not seem big, they become big when multiplied by 10 (things) or 8 (weeks), etc.
So sit down with your spouse and children, and have a talk about what things you might be able to do, for even 8 weeks if need be, and start putting that dough into your cash jar!
3. Agree to put some amount of cash away each week “just because”.
Even $5.00 a week put into savings equals $40.00 in 8 weeks.
Total NOW saved in 8 weeks = $688.00.
Take your active savings one step further by generating some funds one additional way now.
4. Find one item you don’t need in your home anymore and sell it, (or have a yard sale), and add those proceeds to your Christmas savings account.
Even just a $30.00 sale will put your total savings over $700.00!
Grand total saved in just 2 months for Christmas presents = $718.00!
You may have already fine tuned your expenses so much that you can’t save quite that much. OK then, sell a few more things, start a short term home business selling pumpkin rolls to your friends for their Thanksgiving dinner, or take on a seasonal job for a few weeks!
Perhaps you have the ability to save even more than this if you just could find and develop the discipline to do so. Creating a specific period of time with a specific goal helps people develop the strength they need sometimes to begin or carry out a new good habit.
Then, when all is said and done, and you actually have some funds for Christmas, make the best use of your savings by finding great deals on Christmas gifts!
Whatever your situation, abilities or goals, you can save money for those holiday gifts and gift baskets you would like to give to those whom you love so much throughout the entire year.