Saving Money at Christmastime

During the holiday season, the air seems filled with that special dazzling electric Christmas is one of the most joyful and wonderful holidays we celebrate. sparkle that has come to be known as “Christmas Spirit.” It’s not just a cheesy term from animated holiday specials or Will Ferrell movies; it’s a real feeling that seems to come with the holidays. Unfortunately the holiday loving Bob Cratchit in all of us is in danger of being quashed by the undeniably Scrooge-esque demons of overspending and holiday-related debt, unless we take steps to control our spending during the holiday season.

One holiday money saving method works particularly well for large families. Rather than every member of the family feeling compelled to purchase gifts for every other member of the family, the group gets together sometime before the holidays and draws names. Each participant then buys a gift just for the person whose name she drew. This is a far less costly way to spread a little holiday joy.

Gift giving aside, people spend the most money at the holidays on things like decorations and wrapping paper. Cut costs here by saving decorations as much as possible (most people reuse ornaments and lights, but other tree trimmers like garland and tinsel can usually be used repeatedly as well) for use the following year. New decorations, if they’ll be needed, should be purchased after Christmas, when all of the stores put them on sale, sometimes marked down as much as 50 to 75%.

There is nothing wrong with homemade decorations either. The kids will have fun stringing popcorn around the tree and making chain-link garland from red and green construction paper. A box or two of holiday candy canes can serve double duty as tree ornaments and snacks for the kids.

If you’re giving gifts at Christmas, wrapping paper is an unfortunate necessity, as professional gift-wrapping is far too costly. Discount stores sell wrapping paper at very reasonable prices, however, and this should be chosen over the far more expensive fancy paper sold by department stores. There is no reason to spend an exorbitant amount of money on something that is going to be torn through in seconds.

Taking little steps to cut back on holiday costs is not indicative of a lack of Christmas spirit. Quite the contrary, responsible spending and financial control during this time ensures the freedom to enjoy a worry-free holiday season.

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