Friday, September 26, 2014

Four Ways Our Family is Saving Money on Christmas

Taylor in the Snow
Our budget is $350 dollars this year, which is low for us.  We are going to Disneyland a couple days before Christmas so we are counting that as our biggest fun/expense of the holiday (THIS IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE $350 budget). Even though, we are going to Disneyland I cannot ignore all the expectations surrounding the actual day of Christmas with Santa and all the other gifts for family and friends.

We love each other, our kids, family, and friends and want to bless them.  And naturally want to give them gifts but we just need to be smart about how we do it.  Christmas is the time of year where our savings often gets depleted and we end up sneaking into consumer debt but I am determined to stop that cycle.

DISCLAIMER: Everyone's budget and priorities are different.  Some people will think our budget is a lot especially considering we are going to Disneyland and some people might think our budget is stingy.  I read on Dave Ramsey's website that a family should spend around 1-2% of their annual take-home income on Christmas.  But I imagine most families spend much more than that.

Number #1 - Having a Plan.  Most importantly, HAVING A BUDGET.  In order to stay organized with this I have downloaded the app Santa's Bag on my Iphone.

Our litte Angel

Christmas at My parents 2012, we spent the night and Santa came to their house. So Fun, too bad Brian was sick.
 Sitting down and deciding first what I want to spend and than writing down the names of all the people we have to buy for, ideas of what to get them, and how much we will spend on each gift/person.  Some family members I have an amount of money to spend on and the gifts can be decided later.  I am starting to buy gifts in the middle of September and setting aside $50 a paycheck or $100 per month towards Christmas gifts/expenses.

Number #2 - A Change Jar - Anytime I have extra charge, I now have a jar to put it in.  I also decided that if I have any fives left after my weekly shopping trips that they will go in the jar as well. I might have this be part of the budget if money is tight one of these months or use it as fun money during Christmas break.  We will see.

Number #3 - Find FREE money - They say nothing in life is free and that is mostly true.  However, you can cash in Credit Card Rewards for gift cards to Amazon or Texas Roadhouse.  Earn gift cards on swagbucks, use money earned from rebate apps like Ibotta, Shopmium, and Checkout 51.  Get Movie codes for buying participating products.  Earn money doing surveys, etc.

Number #4 - Focus on the TRUE meaning of Christmas and all of the fun, cheap, and free activities.  Driving around to see Christmas lights, building a snowman, going sledding, singing Christmas songs, drinking hot chocolate or wassail, Christmas parties, dressing up and reenacting the Nativity story.  And finding small and meaningful ways to give by letting the kids be Heavenly Father's (Santa's) helpers during the next few months (and all year long).


  1. I love your ideas! We are trying to save money at Christmas time too. I especially love your reminder to just remember what Christmas is about. Sometimes we can get so caught up in monetary things that the simplicity of Christmas can be lost. Love this! Visiting from BMM! :)

    1. Thank you for commenting. Christmas is really about so much more than the commercial; I realized I just have to get myself in the right mindset now. I will have to go visit your blogl; thanks for stopping by.

  2. I love this post... Christmas has been weighing heavy on my mind these days with a growing family and a baby due on 12/24! I know my immediate family understands the true meaning, I suppose the stress comes from the extended family and my feeling of obligation in gift giving. We are really striving to stay frugal though, so we'll see how it turns out! Thanks for the tips! :)

  3. We've had some years with a $100 budget. Those have been our best years! <3 BLOGMA LOVE

  4. The best Christmas we ever had was Disneyland and NO GIFTS. We are doing it again this year. I just buy for my parents, inlaws and Gma. It takes all the stress away. The kids have agreed they like it too. Love your blog!