Great ways to save money at Christmas time
Christmas time can be truly magical, especially for the younger, more care-free members of society. Sadly, for many of us, the overall appeal is diminished by the extra financial burdens that make the “magic” possible! This doesn’t have to be the case, though. With some planning and ingenuity, you can have all of the magic and dramatically reduce your stress levels over the holidays. We’ve compiled a list of awesome Christmas “Finance Hacks” that will help ensure that you’re no Scrooge next Christmas.
1. Take advantage of our Christmas loan special!
Many of our Christmas savings are focused on ensuring you can save up in advance for next Christmas. But just in case you need to amp up the festivities in the near future, we thought we’d give you at least one idea you can implement in the short-term. Why not head on over to our promotions page for some information on our Christmas Loan Special! (Only available in and around Christmas.)
2. Set Up Christmas savings account.
Figure out what a good Christmas budget would be for you and your family. Divide that number by 12 and have a monthly auto-draft or direct deposit set up, going into a new savings account (or a segmented section of another savings account) dedicated to ensuring that by the time Santa Claus is coming to town, you’re more than prepared for his arrival.
3. Buy gifts out of season.
Pretty self-explanatory, really… Don’t buy into the pre-Christmas hype, price hikes, and the like. Choose to deliberately do your shopping at a more affordable time of year, or spread out throughout the year. This serves two purposes.
- Your gifts will be more affordable, AKA your money will go further.
- Your Christmas expenses will be spread out over time, rather than sucker-punching your wallet in one big November-December assault.
4. Postpone family gift-exchange till New Years.
A slight variation from our last idea, this suggestion might not go down well with any kids you might have… Delaying gratification is never a popular idea. Why not buy your gifts during the post-Christmas price slump that seems to happen every year, and exchange gifts on New Years? You can soften the blow by coming up with gifts that are small and personal to exchange on Christmas morning, and do a more pricey gift exchange at New Years. Or January 22nd, or February 4th, or basically any time after Christmas.
5. Draw gift-buddy names from a hat.
Large family or circle of friends? Rather than buying everybody a small gift, why not draw names from a hat to designate a gift buddy? This way, each person only has to buy one gift, making the process a lot more affordable. This plan works best with the following conditions:
- Agree on a universal price range for everyone (this can be a little more than you might usually spend since you’re only buying one),
- Encourage everyone to publicize what gifts they’d like (Amazon wish list, anyone?)
- Forbid buying gifts for people other than your gift-buddy. (Things get messy, and it devolves to the point where everyone is buying for everyone again. Any non-gift-buddy gifts should be given in private, not at the gathering.)
6. Create a gift stockpile throughout the year.
Come up with a gift bin/shelf/corner-of-attic, etc and begin to stockpile affordable gifts when you see them on sale, at garage sales, etc. Save these for those impromptu gift occasions, or use them at Christmas time. Don’t buy just anything though, or you’ll end up with a gigantic mound of really cheap (read: disappointing!) gifts. These are most useful when you would otherwise have nothing, for example, as you’re dashing out the door to see an old acquaintance. Once you’ve bought just a few generic gifts you could give to almost anyone, start to get a little more discerning, picking out only really cool things that jump out at you, or stand out as being ideal for someone specific. In this way, you’ll get great gifts at great prices, and won’t turn into a terrible gift hoarder.
At Eastex Credit Union, we love helping people with their finances. It’s super rewarding, and we consider it a real opportunity to serve the people around us. That’s a big part of why we put posts like this together, but we can give you even better, more tailored advice in person. Why not come into one of our locations to talk? We’d love to hear about your situation, and get to know you better!