January 04, 2018
Between planning parties, buying presents, and preparing holiday meals, it's hard to keep your budget in check during the holiday season. But there are ways you can save during this season without having to skip out on that turkey or ham dinner!
Activities that are Holiday Budget Friendly
Here are some examples of activities you can do this Christmas holiday to maintain a low budget but keep the holiday cheer high.
1. Tour the Christmas lights in your town.
Pick a night, fill travel mugs with hot chocolate, and marvel at the festive decorations. besides the coat of gas, this is a budget-friendly way to enjoy the holiday festivities in your town.
Bonus: Since darkness falls early this time of year, you can take a long drive and still get the kids in bed on time.
2. Enjoy festive Christmas performances in your local community.
You aren’t required to have a family member participating to attend a school or church and enjoy the hard work of local performers. Community holiday events tend to have tickets that are more inexpensive than common national touring productions and proceeds usually go to supporting the arts in your local community. Check out your local newspaper or neighborhood Facebook group for upcoming holiday events.
3. Fun holiday baking for low cost and effort.
Baking holiday treats is a fun activity that the whole family can enjoy. You can even give the results of your efforts away as Christmas gifts. Even if you aren’t a great cook, Christmas baking kits make the process easy and often inexpensive. You can purchase premade dough at your local grocery store and frosting or cookie toppings and decorate the cookies with your family for an easy and low-expense holiday activity.
4. Read your favorite Christmas books as a family.
Kids love seasonal traditions. Make it special by curling up in soft blankets and enjoying treats. Even if the kids have outgrown nightly bedtime stories, they’ll enjoy the nostalgia.
Another place to look for inexpensive Christmas gifts or books to share with the family is your local thrift store. You can also find great gifts, used board games, and decorations for this holiday season.
5. Holiday Caroling with your neighbors.
If singing makes you happy, plan a neighborhood caroling party and go from house to house spreading Christmas joy. Connect with your neighbors on your local neighborhood Facebook group or on Nextdoor to find out what community activities and caroling routes are already planned.
6. Host a holiday potluck dinner with family and friends.
A big dinner party during the holidays is always nice to spend quality time together. To keep costs down, keep it simple and invite your friends with the plan to have everyone bring a dish to serve. This allows you and your friends to share cultures and recipes, all while reducing the expenses involved with hosting a large dinner party. If planning to host a dinner party, look back on the budget you made for your Thanksgiving dinner. That may help you identify how much you will need if you supply all the food.
Holiday Budgeting Tips
Keep a calendar of Christmas events in plain sight so you don’t overbook your activities and overextend your budget. You don’t have to attend every party and spend money on gifts for every person, so send your regrets for anything that you don’t really look forward to. Concentrating your time and energy on Christmas events that you love makes the season more meaningful and enjoyable.
Take the pressure off your bank account during the holidays by suggesting that gift exchanges include a smaller budget. For example, limiting spending to $10-$20 gives your budget a break without diminishing the joy of giving and receiving gifts from friends and family.
Enjoy the holidays and set yourself up for success by creating a budget and thinking through your goals so you can prioritize the things that contribute the most joy to the season. The best thing you can do is to start planning your gifts and their costs now so you can see where it is best to cut back. Use our free Holiday Shopping Planner to start tracking your gift budget and spending.
If you have kids, talk to them to learn which holiday traditions mean the most. Chances are, their most cherished memories are also inexpensive and simple. Focus on making sure each child gets to participate in their favorite Christmas tradition to make this holiday season special for the whole family.
Get Additional Help with a Personal Loan
If you don’t have enough saved for your Holiday budget this year, consider applying for a personal installment loan. Sunset Finance offers installment loans with fixed payments for a set term. This allows you to fit the loan payment into your monthly budget. Check out Sunset Finance FAQs or give us a call if you have questions.
If you would like more resources on personal finances and budgeting, check out these resources:
- Read about How To Adjust Your Budget For Rising Prices
- Download our Free Simple Monthly Budgeting Worksheet
- Learning to manage a budget becomes a fairly simple task with a bit of practice. Take a look at The Basics of Budgeting to get started.
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