10 Ways To Have Christmas On A Budget

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by COUNTRY Financial. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Post contains affiliate links.

Christmas can be the most financially stressful time of the year. With gifts to buy, extra food to make and parties to either host or attend, it seems like the money goes up in smoke after Santa goes up the chimney.

But according to COUNTRYFinancial, if you plan ahead and stick with your plans, Christmas doesn’t have to be stressful. I can be enjoyable if you just do a few things to keep spending on course. You don’t have to be Scrooge, but you also don’t want to end up in a crunch come January. Here’s a few ways you can stay on course and have a holiday that’s merry and bright without scraping the bottom of the money barrel.

Christmas On A Budget - The Everyday Mom Life

Make a list and check it twice

Here’s a rule Santa can be proud of. Make a list of all the people you have to buy presents for and a list of people it would be nice to buy presents for. Check it twice and make sure you don’t leave off anyone you love. Then stick to your list.

Christmas On A Budget - The Everyday Mom Life

Assign a budget to each person

Admittedly, I tend to go a bit crazy once I’m in the store and don’t pay close attention to prices. However, if I have my handy list from No. 1 above, I can go through that and assign a budget for each person.

It’s not logical to assign a flat budget for each person because some presents cost less and some cost more. Some people mean more and some people mean, well, less.

That might not be nice to think about but your child’s teacher does not mean as much as your mother. Budgets should be conditional based on the relationship and perhaps age of a person. My nieces and nephews presents will cost less because they’re toys than a present for my husband which may also be a toy but a much more expensive one. J

Once you have your budgets set, stick to your budgets.

Make some gifts

Maybe you don’t have enough money to buy presents for all the people on your Nice-To-Buy List, but you could make those people presents. Whether you make them a batch of cookies, salt dough ornaments or have a skill such as knitting or cross-stitch – all of these things will make wonderful gifts for people like teachers, coaches or even aunts and uncles. After all, Christmas is about the thought and the season, not the amount you spend.

Christmas On A Budget - The Everyday Mom Life

Use cash

COUNTRYFinancial representatives recommend using cash when trying to stick to a holiday budget. They suggest putting cash for gifts in an envelope and only using that for presents. When it’s gone, it’s gone. You can also piggyback this idea on No. 2 and assign a cash budget to each person’s gift and use different envelops for each person.

Cash back credit cards

If you do use a credit card for gift buying, make sure you’re using a cash back credit card. This means that with every purchase you make, you get a certain percent back. This makes your shopping less expensive while you’re shopping. Just make sure you pay it off each month or you could end up with a sky-high interest rate being applied. That won’t save you anything.

Compare prices in-store and online

I know that people want to shop in stores around the holidays and have a magical experience (I do, anyways.), but the truth of the matter is, shopping online can be a lot less expensive. Often times you will find the same items online for less than in store. When you do, but you want to buy from a store, you can always can a store and ask if they will price match. Just do your homework so you know you’re getting the best deal for the pricier items.

Christmas On A Budget - The Everyday Mom Life

Don’t forget the outlet stores

If you really want to shop in-store then make sure to check out outlet malls and stores. Often times you can find great deals in these places. The lines just might be a bit long so prepare to be there for a while.

Pass a plate

You don’t have to plan and serve the perfect holiday get-together if it means you’re going to be penniless in January. If you’re hosting a holiday party, lighten your load by making everyone who attends bring a dish. The party might still be expensive (because almost all parties are) but if you make everyone responsible for bringing a part of the meal you can save a few dollars and some work too.

Click here for links to appetizers and here for a link to dessert options.

Be a frugal foodie

Look for deals on food if you’re hosting. Use coupons, take advantage of stores that have loyalty programs and look for buy-one, get-one deals, which you can often find on meats and items that have expiration dates.

Christmas On A Budget - The Everyday Mom Life

Cut the décor

The most important thing about the holidays is being together. While that’s a tough message for kids, or even some adults, it really means that you don’t need all the holiday bling that you see on TV. Reuse paper grocery bags to wrap gifts, make popcorn strings and chain-link decorations out of construction paper, make ornaments, etc. You can make so many décor pieces that add a little magic without going overboard on whatever this year’s holiday décor fad is.

Christmas On A Budget - The Everyday Mom Life

For more information of how to get through the holidays successfully, and financial planning year-round, visit the COUNTRYFinancial website and find an advisor today. Planning for Christmas should just happen in December. It can be something you’re thinking about and working towards all year.

For more lifestyle posts, click here and for more tips, click here.


  1. I’ve always loved to gift extra special food items to friends and family for Christmas. There are certain treats that I will ONLY make during the holiday season, and everyone waits for them.

  2. I do love to save money, and I am frugal. I use credit cards, but I pay off the balance the following month. Then I use the rewards points to get gift cards, and that’s what I pass out over the holidays for lots of people!

  3. These are all fantastic tips. You are right about this time of year being stressful. With careful planning and enough time, the holidays don’t have to be so costly. I love your idea about handmade gifts and decorations. They mean so much more when they come from the heart!

  4. Definitely like to save money. Though I want to have a fun Christmas I also don’t want to have to pay it back for the rest of the year. You have some great ideas here.

  5. These are such wonderful ways to have holiday cheer on a budget! Asking guests to bring a dish and drink is a great idea, and actually makes things more fun. Creating cookie platters and homemade ornaments is also a special way to celebrate the season.

  6. Christmas can easily blow a whole year’s budget if you let it get out of control. These are great tips for having a cost-effective Christmas.

  7. The outlet is my friend! I found some huge sales there and when I travel for the holidays I will make sure to hit them up for the after Christmas sales too

  8. I tend to overspend at Christmastime. Next year I will try assigning a budget to each person. I also like to make up baskets of homemade goodies to give to relatives.

  9. These are such great tips. As a mom of five children, I really try to do Christmas on a budget. Also, four of my five children have birthdays in January, so I really appreciate these tips.

  10. These tips are handy in all kind of budgeting. especially in India where we have multiple festivals & all of them are lavisly celebrated.

  11. Wow, such a great read, holiday is really an expensive day and these are really great ideas and guide to make your holidays more special even you are in a budget. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  12. Having a Christmas on a budget is so important nowadays! Thank you for your tips. I think it’s essential to check the prices in stores and online. You can save a lot of money by finding the best price!

  13. I love the message of your article – the importance of a family being together on Christmas than splurging on things. Thank you for sharing this.

  14. These are great tips. I assign a budget and make a list every year and it really helps me cut back on spending. I also use Top Cashback whenever I shop online and I managed to save £100 in cashback throughout the year. I’ve just cashed it in and it was a huge help with my Xmas shopping 🙂

  15. I have to admit that this was the first year I actually sat down and wrote a list and budget for each person and not only did I stick to it, but it felt like I was able to give a lot more because I didn’t accidentally go crazy and overspend on certain people!

  16. As much as we would love to please everyone with lavish gifts, we must keep in mind the true meaning of Christmas. Being around family during this time is more than enough. We must be grateful for the blessings we received and for the precious gift of having a loving family around us.

  17. These are great tips. The holidays should be about spending time with each other and not just spending lavishly. I do like the idea of making some gifts and taking the time to appreciate the person/people getting the gift. Having a list keeps the expenses in check. Great reminders!

  18. This are some great tips! We don’t spend on Christmas but my parents and in-laws go overboard with us living in a different country lol. Leaving us to just simply make and continue simple family traditions.

  19. These are all great ways to achieve Christmas on a budget. I took advantage a lot of sales and checking in-store and online prices. I’ll have to try some of your other tips as well. Thanks for sharing!


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