Sunday, January 5, 2014

Need a Budget Friendly Christmas?

Need a Budget Friendly Chirstmas:

Never know what to buy for presents? End up spending more than you should on gifts? Don't understand where your money goes around the holidays?

 Well, here is my advise and tips on how to have a budget friendly and yet still memorable holiday experience!!!

Each year, I spent an entire paycheck in December on gifts alone. That didn't include wrapping, cards, food, and travel for the parties. I finally realized I could still have the same great Christmas, but save money doing it. We (My boyfriend and I) decided to be smart about how much we  spent at Christmas in 2013. We are sticking to a budget and there is no reason Christmas can't be reasonable too. I know it's tacky to discuss actual numbers when it comes to money. But I'm not embarrased to share. I want everyone to think about how much they spend. It really adds up. Showing the acutual numbers is the easiest way. Here's the Breakdown on the difference in what I spent the last couple years:

   Check Out What I Spent in 2012:
  • $15 on 10 good friends.......= $150
  • $25 on 3 family members... =$105
  • $5 on 5 other people...........= $25
  • $50 on Christmas Cards.....= $50
Grand Total: $330 on 18 people + cards

I know this amount will only increase every year, adding more friends, family, and co-workers to the equation. Which I don't mind, I love it. But, I make minimum wage and only work part time and go to school. I have bills every month like everyone else, even in December....haha. So after 2012 I needed to re-budget in order to make sure everyone could get a Christmas Gift and I wouldn't have to go broke for the holidays.  I decided to get organized and what a difference it made!

Here is what 2013 looked like:
  • $20 on Christmas Cards......................................... = $20
  • $15.50 on 8 family members. (mine + Andrews).. =$124
  • $5 on 6 close friends ...............................................=$30
  • 0.75  on 10 friends..................................................=$7.50
Grand Total : $181.50 on 24 people + cards

How did I cut down so much? Here are some quick tips. I plan ahead! Sounds so simple. But I never did it before. In 2013 I decided to follow the advise and I figured out what main gift Idea was. I decided that most of my friends get the same gift (well, similar gifts). I know, sounds impersonal. But its not, they are cute gifts, mostly homemade and take time to create. Most of my friends appreciate them. I mean if  you got a cute,homemade gift, would it bother you to know others received it too? I don't think it would bother me, its smart and still personal.  Here are my Budget Friendly Christmas Tips!

  • Buy wrapping, bows, boxes when its 50% off or more after Christmas for next year.
  • Or Make your own Wrapping, gift tags, etc
  • Buy Cards on sale after Christmas for the next year
  • Save the extra cards to reuse a few years down the road, or make cute gift tags out of them!
  • Make a cute homemade gifts (ornaments, bath products, food, etc)
  • Buy products in Bulk (at Sam's Club, etc)
  • Make homeade Gift Sets (ex: nail polish, homemade bath scrub, loofa, Candle)
For example: Here are some ways I saved money in 2013. I used cards I had left over from a couple years ago. I bought my cards for next year on sale. I gave personal gifts to my 3 family members and Andrew's Parents. However, the gifts we gave to Andrew's two young nieces (ages 3-4) were homemade. I made them each a Tutu. I also had my mom crochet one of them a crown and litle purse, while mom crocheted the other one a scarf and hat. I gave frosted wine glasses and ornaments mostly for gifts. I used boxes and wrapping I had bought for super cheap after Christmas the year before.

Here are pictures of some of the homemade (cheap) gifts I gave in 2013! In the next blog I will share how I made some of the gifts and where I got all my products that helped give me a BUDGET FRIENDLY CHRISTMAS!

Mini Flashlight Idea, $1 Target Aisle, and some nail polish: Thanks to

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