You’ve been working hard to get out of debt trying to save every penny you can while keeping up with your bills…
…and then Christmas rolls around and you are in a panic at all the expenses that are sure to follow.
From being thrown into the family gift exchange, to feeling forced to contribute to your holiday “Secret Santa” office party (and find something to wear) – Christmas can seem overwhelming to a gal on a budget.
But you can have a frugal Christmas – and still get to experience all the wonders of this magical season.
Check out our tips on how to survive Christmas on a budget – and still partake in all of the fun holiday experiences.
Let’s face it – sometimes bringing a dish to a potluck can get expensive. Especially if we’re talking roasted meat or an elaborate cheeseboard spread.
Instead, offer to bring something festive and fun that doesn’t cost a ton of money.
You can make hot chocolate in a crock pot (complete with mini marshmallows) and bring that as your contribution.
After all, who doesn’t love a warm cup of hot chocolate during the cold Christmas season!
Get Creative With Gifts
You don’t have to go broke buying gifts for your entire circle of family and friends!
Instead of charging more on your credit card, think of creative gifts you can give your loved ones.
An avid baker? Consider baking some delicious homemade deserts and putting them in a small mason jar with a cute ribbon.
A talented photographer with a side hustle? Offer the gift of a photoshoot for your friend’s upcoming engagement or child’s birthday party.
You can even offer your gift of time – and be willing to babysit a few nights for a family member or help a friend finally organize her in-home clutter.
Don’t buy into the myth that all Christmas presents need to be expensive physical possessions!
Dollar Store Finds
Decorating for Christmas can seem impossible while trying to live a frugal lifestyle.
And no, you might not have the money to go to a home store and spend $120 to buy a light up tree with fancy handmade ornaments.
But you can certainly still get in the Christmas spirit and head to the dollar store to buy $1 twinkling star LED lights to hang on your stair railing, or their cute red big bows to place on a door.
At the dollar store you can find gift bags, Christmas cards, wrapping paper, and cute décor – for you guessed it – a dollar.
You can even make your own DYI crafts (YouTube is loaded with how-to-videos) that are inexpensive but elegant and chic – like handmade ornaments with glitter or stylish 2-tiered Christmas serving platters made simply by gluing glass candle stick holders and gold serving plates together.
Dollar stores are always your friend, but especially during Christmas!
Set Boundaries But Have Fun
You can also consider being upfront with your family about your financial reality. Who knows, you might discover other siblings are in the same boat.
Instead of having to buy gifts for everyone, consider drawing names and doing a gift-exchange.
And for all those holiday parties – who says you can’t wear the same dress twice? You can get a simple black dress, and choose to wear different shoes or accessories for a whole new look.
So this Christmas, rest assured you can still live a frugal lifestyle without going further into debt – and still have fun in the process!
Frugal doesn’t mean boring and bleak – on the contrary it means you are wise enough to stick to solid principles and not stray just because it’s the holidays.
Cheers to a frugal Christmas!
What are some ways you can have a frugal Christmas?
Which of the above ideas will you incorporate this year?
Tell us your thoughts in the comments below and be sure to share this article with your family and friends!