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Nothing ruins a fun Christmas like a huge credit card bill, but you can be merry without going broke by starting to save now. Here are 12 ways to save $300 (or however much you need) before Christmas.
And remember… if you look through these ideas and still feel like funds are too limited remember what is truly important. Embrace fun (and frugal) traditions. Christmas shouldn’t be all about the gifts anyway.
Make & Stick to a Monthly Budget
This is as a basic as it gets but is honestly the best place to start. If you don’t have a budget, it’s time to make one. You can go here for some great tips.
Once you have a budget, you have to follow to it. It can be eye opening to see how much money you are really wasting!
Clip Those Coupons
Most coupons are only worth 50¢-$1 but when you pair it with sales it adds up quickly! The less you spend on the things you have to buy (like toilet paper and cereal) the more you have to spend on fun things like Christmas presents.
If you are just getting started couponing, you can go here for my free online workshop.
Lower Electric Bills
The official energy efficient temperatures are 78 degrees in the summer and 68 degrees in the winter. You can use fans or extra clothes (depending on the season) to keep things comfortable, but the closer you stay to these temps the less your bill will be. You can also unplug electronics when you aren’t using them, turn off lights, and avoid using your oven.
Regardless of what temperate you keep the house at, you can use these tips to help your house be more energy efficient.
Get Rid Of Your Clutter
Thanks to the internet you can sell pretty much anything. Check your local Facebook buy/sale/trade pages, OfferUp, and Craigslist. You can research the going rate for things and list your own stuff. It’s usually quick and easy but use your good judgement. If anyone wants to pay anyway other than cash, move on to the next person. Don’t even respond to them. Meet at a police station or other public place and it anything seems off or fishy, move on to the next person.
Sell at Consignment Sales
Consignment sale season is happening right now! Check into consignment sales in your area to see if there are any that haven’t had their fall sell yet. You can sign up as a cosigner and get rid of all of the stuff your children have outgrown. You typically price the items yourself and decide if they go half price. Keep in mind that the sale typically takes 44% (or more).
The best part of consigning is that you get to shop before the public. This means you get your pick of all the best deals!… Which is a great way to shop for Christmas gifts.
Use Less Water
If you have city water using less water can add up to some fun savings. We all want to do less laundry so hopefully we can all get on board with this. If the clothes aren’t actually dirty, don’t wash them. This can be harder with the kiddos of course but think before you wash. Take shorter showers and put your shower on a low flow setting.
Cable is expensive and you’re probably paying for a lot of channels you don’t even watch. Switch to Sling TV, Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon Prime – y’all there are so many other options now! And some include sports.
Right now you can subscribe to Sling TV for two months and get a FREE Roku Streaming Stick (which would be a great gift for someone). The best part, you can add on extra sports packages for $5.
Find Extra Income
Sometimes at the end of the day there just isn’t enough coming in to save. Thankfully there usually is extra work this time of year. This can be hard when you have limited time and limited child care options but here are 6 ways you can make money from home.
Do Without The Extras
I love to ask myself, “What if I don’t buy this?” Many times you’ll realize you don’t actually need that item at all. This applies to everything from the Target Dollar Section (my personal weakness) to a new big screen TV. Even if it’s the best deal ever you are still spending too much if you don’t need it or don’t have the money.
Eat At Home
Even with restaurant deals & coupons, eating out is more expensive than making a meal at home 9 times out of 10. Keep your meals simple and limit how much meat and you’ll save even more.. Think rice and beans, frozen pizza instead of delivery, and lots of pasta.
Ask for Help
If funds are still too limited, check into local charities and Angel Trees. There is almost always help available for those who need it. Don’t be afraid to ask!
Stay off Social Media
Nothing can ruin your joy like discontentment. Your Christmas celebration is enough. The presents you buy are enough. Your tree and decorations are enough. It doesn’t matter if everything matches. It doesn’t matter if your children each only get 1 gift. Find the joy in your own celebration and you’ll be okay.
See more ways to save on Christmas.