This holiday season, shoppers expect to spend an average of $998 on gifts and other holiday expenses. The 2021 holiday season is shaping up to be an expensive one, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF) Holiday and Seasonal Trends survey. With inflation steadily increasing, the cost of holiday gifts and meals is quickly becoming unmanageable for so many families.
Somewhere along the way, many people have lost sight of the real meaning of Christmas. It’s not about buying the most expensive and trendy gift out there but showing your loved ones that you care. According to Dave Ramsey’s holiday tips, extra costs like extended warranties, store credit cards, layaway plans, overnight shipping costs, Christmas cards, and gift wrapping services can put a damper on the holiday budget. “skipping these Christmas extras can go a long way toward giving your budget some breathing room. At the end of the day, remember this: Christmas is all about finding joy by spending time with others and blessing them—not spending money just because every Christmas commercial told you to.”
5 Costs That You Need This Season
- Buy local or from small shops. Let’s give some love to the mom and pop stores struggling to keep their dreams afloat.
- Make some homemade gifts. One of the benefits of homemade gifts is that many of the supplies you need come in multiples. Therefore, share the love!
- Share a memory. Did you have a memorable vacation with a best friend or family member recently? Why not get a vacation picture framed for the recipient to enjoy year-round. Meaningful gifts do not always have to be the most expensive. Or have the image transferred onto a Christmas ornament to enjoy every year.
- For meal planning, choose less expensive options. Seasonal vegetables will be less expensive. Find foods that are hearty and can feed a crowd for very little. Foods such as potatoes and rice, cabbage, legumes, etc.
- Cut down on the expensive Christmas wrap and purchase some simple butcher block paper and decorate it with springs of evergreen, ribbon left over from last year, or have the kiddos draw a picture on it.
Another consideration – and if you have some extra time during the holiday season is to make some homemade gifts. Here are some great ideas!
5 Costs You Don’t Need This Season
- Buying things just because they are on sale. Sales are nice and it is always good to catch one. But you don’t need to buy something you don’t intend to use or gift just because it is on a good sale. Focus on the sales that will be fruitful to your overall gifting goals of showing your love and care about someone, rather than those that will save you a quick buck.
- Decorations. More decorations can be expensive. Use the ones you have or “upcycle” them by repainting them or improving their appearance.
- Poinsettias. This may seem crazy to some people, but you don’t have to toss out that old poinsettia every year! You can bring it back, year after year for a beautiful holiday display. How do I know? I actually do this! Red poinsettias sell out quickly where I’m at and by the time they are for sale, I often only have white as my option. I want a red one, so I keep it alive year-round! Click here to find out here. This is the guide I use to keep my 3-year-old poinsettia looking stunning this time of the year. Buy one for cheap at the end of the season and keep it alive!
- The Best Cut Of Meat. Instead of buying a high-quality prime rib or the best ham money can buy, wait for a good sale on something like a fatty and delicious ribeye or tri-tip! Even if it’s different, your guests likely won’t know, and if they do, say “I found this and decided to try it this year!” I know, personally, that my husband can grill up a nice tri-tip that can be just as satisfying as a prime rib without the price tag.
- Expensive Santa Presents. Many kids do not have the luxury of parents who can afford the nicest presents to give their kids from Santa. And when they talk to their friends, it can look like Santa favors the wealthy children over those who don’t have much money. If you want to spend money on your kids, buy them a nice present and take credit for it. Let Santa be the humble giver.
So if you are trying to save money, just know that there are ways and most people will understand or not even notice. We don’t have to be flashy or extravagant to be giving or generous to others.