Last Updated on December 19, 2019 by Ellen Christian
Are you hoping to have a frugal Christmas this year? I love the holidays and buying gifts for friends and family but we don’t have an unlimited budget to do that.
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Having a Frugal Christmas
Having a frugal Christmas doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy giving over the holidays. It means that you need to look into stretching your holiday dollars as much as you can. There are lots of different ways that you can do this without feeling like you can’t enjoy the season the way you want.
Christmas is about giving and that’s what I enjoy doing. Giving doesn’t have to mean buying the biggest and best gift available. Gifts should be given from the heart. Of course, we love to splurge on the kids too but we make sure to keep track of what we’re spending and spend wisely.
How can I be frugal at Christmas?
One of the largest expenses that we have at Christmas is buying gifts for people on our list. The first step is to evaluate whether you need to give a gift to everyone on your list. Could you agree not to exchange with a few people?
Giving secondhand gifts is fine for some people. My Mom collects vintage teacups and is perfectly fine with receiving one that I found at the secondhand store. Not everyone is OK with this but in some cases, it’s totally acceptable. Here are some second-hand gift ideas you can start with.
Handmade gifts are a great choice. My sister makes the most amazing candy each year and sends that out as part of her Christmas gift. Everyone loves receiving it. If you make soap, candles, candy or a similar craft, consider giving that as a gift.
Make cards, decorations, and food from scratch. Get the kids involved in the process and create some fun, new holiday traditions. Teach the kids all about having a frugal Christmas so they understand as they get older.
How much should you budget for Christmas?
There is no specific amount that you need to budget for gifts. The important thing is that you stay within your budget. Make a list of what you want to spend total and what you want to spend on each person. And, make sure you stick to it. Consider everything: presents, travel, food, wrapping, music, etc.
Compare prices. Check out local stores and compare the prices to stores online. Make sure that you consider costs like gas, tolls and meter fees as well as shipping costs when shopping online. If you’re having a frugal Christmas, you need to be aware of every way you’re spending money.
Talk to people about setting a spending limit on gifts or consider purchasing gifts only for the children in the family. Come to an agreement on a limit that works well for everyone.
Consider giving a family gift instead of individual gifts. Make a gift basket with a board game, popcorn and other snacks for a family movie night. Let everyone enjoy it.
When you do use a credit card, choose one that lets you earn points towards gift cards to help with holiday spending. Having a frugal Christmas means taking advantage of every way to earn back that you can.
Earn money back when shopping
Chase Ultimate Rewards is a fun rewards program that is available to Chase Freedom, Chase Sapphire, and Ink from Chase cardholders. When you use any of these cards, you can earn points on every purchase you make and those points can be redeemed for your choice of rewards including things like travel, experiences, merchandise, gift cards, and even cash back. This is one of the easiest ways you can start having a frugal Christmas.
This is a great rewards program to join if having a frugal Christmas is something you’re trying to do this year or want to get rewarded for your spending year-round. With Ultimate Rewards, you can earn cashback by direct deposit starting at $20 for 2,000 points. Merchandise redemptions and gift cards are available at the same prices you’d pay in-store without any additional mark-ups (i.e. a $50 product/gift card costs 5,000 points). Points can also be redeemed for exclusive, VIP access to concerts, sporting events and movie premieres and more, and when booking a flight there’s no blackout dates or restrictions.
Ultimate Rewards is a personalized rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for things that are the most important to you. And best of all, Chase offers extra incentives during the holidays to cardholders with Ultimate Rewards, helping you stretch your budget even more! Having a frugal Christmas is much easier when you can use the points you’ve earned throughout the year on gifts for the family. Visit UltimateRewards.com for more information.
Ellen is a busy mom of a 24-year-old son and 29-year-old daughter. She owns six blogs and is addicted to social media. She believes that it doesn’t have to be difficult to lead a healthy life. She shares simple healthy living tips to show busy women how to lead fulfilling lives. If you’d like to work together, email firstname.lastname@example.org to chat.