I got an email the other day from Michelle over at Making Sense Of Cents, in her email she talked about how the average person spends around $900 on gifts for the holiday season. That’s insane, right?
The holidays always hit us a bit harder because we have 5 children with birthdays that are pretty darn close to each other and the holidays. November, December, January and March. There is just so much going on in the first 2 months.
A few years ago I had it stuck in my head that my children needed to have X amount of gifts under the Christmas tree or else they would miss out, feel jipped, and I would be a bad parent.
HOLY MOLY, this is not true and we’ve spent that crazy amount of $900 or more on Christmas because I thought I had too.
Where the cuss that thought came from, I don’t know.. maybe society but putting that extra money in savings and bulking up your fun family spending money makes way more sense.
Plus, our kids really don’t need a crap ton of toys that will just end up broken or never used. Been there, done that!
We are really big on communicating with our children. So, talking to them about not needed so much is extremely valuable for a child and yourself, especially when you’re downsizing and living that “minimalist life.”
We like to stick to a basic set of rules when it comes to Christmas shopping for our kids, which are:
1. A WANT (BUT DON’T GET CRAZY)
We have a tradition in our family where we pick a day in December to shop. Our kids get to pick out one gift they really want for Christmas and the rest of the day is declared family day! That gift comes with a spending limit that works with our budget then the present is wrapped and put under our tree.
Maybe it seems a little silly but it’s our tradition and our kids love it!
2. A NEED
We get our kids something they need as a gift, this year a new bedding set it needed. Getting this is still so much fun for them because what kids doesn’t like to sleep in his favorite super hero bedding!
3. A BOOK
Our boys love books! We like to pick them out a favorite book and it really brings them joy.
On Christmas day we spend it in our pj’s. We watch Christmas movies all day, eat left overs, the kids play with their toys, and we spend time being thankful for each other and the new year we are about to come into. Getting a new set of pajamas just for Christmas day is so much fun for us!!
5. THE SURPRISE
We like to get our boys a surprise picked out just from mommy and daddy. Remember to stick to your budget for this as well.
Sticking to this Christmas shopping guideline really helps with the planning of gift giving and helps us adhere to our Christmas budget.
LET’S TALK SAVING MONEY
SET A BUDGET FOR GIFTS
Figure out what you can spend on Christmas gifts this year. You want an amount that won’t hurt your budget in the long run. Believe me we’ve done it, and paid for it!
STICK TO THE BASIC GIFTS WE TALKED ABOUT EARLIER
Use it right and it will work. Plus, it’s a simple guideline to use every year.
ASK FOR GIFT CARDS FOR YOUR KIDS
Relatives always ask what our kids want for Christmas, make it easier on yourself and just ask for gift cards. My sisters always send our kids some cash for Christmas and it’s really nice because if we want to go out for a treat that month we have that money put away in their bank account and it saves us money.
SHOP THROUGHOUT THE YEAR WHEN DEALS COME UP
This is something I need to start doing! That way by the time Christmas creeps up on us, I’m done shopping. No more shopping with crazy people!
I probably shouldn’t call people crazy..I just have really bad anxiety.
START A CHRISTMAS FUND AHEAD OF TIME
Start a Christmas fund months before this sweet holiday. You’ll be better prepared and hopefully won’t have to dip into anymore accounts.
USE EBATES WHEN YOU SHOP ONLINE
If you’re going to be shopping online I highly suggest that you use EBATES. Ebates allows you to EARN CASH BACK when you shop online. It’s pretty darn cool!
You also get a 10 dollar gift card just for signing up and then have the opportunity to earn more money with them just by sharing with your friends and family.
I would love for you to take advantage of that because you’d be saving even more money and earning it some, which is such a sweet bonus!
How are you saving money on your Christmas list this year? Just scroll down to leave a comment, I’d love to learn any tips you have.