5 Tips on Spending Less This Christmas

For most moms, making a commitment to spending less this Christmas season is the easy part.  Actually sticking to that commitment can be a little harder.

In fact, most moms have probably considered the idea at one point or another through the years, but has either fallen short of the goal, or discarded the possibility.

No matter how good our intentions, once the holiday season gets into full swing, frenzied chaos ensues.

Before you even realize it, chances are you’ve spent way over your frugal budget and haven’t even come close to finishing your list.  There go the frugal spending plans for another year!

But before you throw in the towel yet again, here are five tips to help you stay on track:

1. Resist Window Shopping
Don’t spend your time ogling Christmas displays at the mall.  Even better, don’t go shopping at the mall at all! Big wig marketing executives are paid hefty salaries to convince you to forget your frugal plans.  They are experts at figuring out how to part you from your well meaning intentions, so don’t give them the opportunity to do it! Shop online for specific items on your list.  Its much easier to “just say no” from the comfort of your sofa.

2. Set Up a Budget
Ok, Ok, sometimes this is easier said than done.  But be strict with yourself this year! If shopping in brick and mortar stores, take cash out of the bank to spend on Christmas shopping, and budget accordingly.  You can even make up separate envelopes for each person on your list.

3. Realize You’re Not Perfect
Yes, you should budget. Yes, you should stick to your goals.  But accept the fact that you are not perfect.  No one is.  Don’t let one stray purchase blow your budget completely (sort of like that bite of cheesecake on your diet.)  Realize there are expectations to every rule, and every budget.  If you find the dream gift for your child, at a fantastic price that is just over your budget (but still completely affordable for you), go for it! Don’t let your budget be a punishment.  Just don’t keep this type of behavior up for every single person on your list.

4. Don’t Do it All
How many gift exchanges are you involved in this year? Don’t feel like you have to do them all.  Its ok to say something like “My focus this year is my family, and we’re really not buying gifts.” If you can’t see yourself saying something like that, then consider baking up a gazillion cookies and including your “famous” recipe for them as gifts. Most people appreciate a consumable Christmas present over some tacky mug or Christmas sweatshirt anyway.

5. Go Gift Card
If the thought of staying in your budget is causing you to go weak in the knees in stress, consider giving gift cards this year.  You can buy them in specific amounts that meet your budget, and if you want to make the gift more personal, can consider making a homemade card.

Ways to Save Money on Gifts:

What tips do you have for sticking to a holiday shopping budget?



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