12 Practical Money Saving Tip for the Holiday Season

The holidays are fast approaching and along with the colder weather, comes the opportunity to get a jump start on saving money this holiday season. Check out every money saving tip, to see how many you can start doing right now.

1. Design your own Holiday Layaway

Enjoying Christmas on a budget is easier if you spread out your spending over time, like stores do with their layaway program. The concept of layaway is great, it allows us to afford large purchases by paying small amounts each month. You can apply this same great idea and create your own Christmas layaway. Start now by buying something each month until the holidays. This way you can spread out how much you spend and avoid having to buy everything all at once.

2. Create a Master Gift List

Start thinking about the many gifts that you will be buying this year. Make a gift list with the recipient’s name, sizes, like and dislikes, and amount you’d like to spend. I also like to note what I bought them last season, along with which gift was last year‘s favorite. Bring the list with you everywhere you go so you will be prepared, as you never know where you’ll spot a great gift item.

3. Schedule Holiday Events

Now is the time to find out when all your families holiday events will occur so that you can schedule them. When is your child’s holiday ballet performance? When is the company holiday party? When does the holiday school break begin and end? Gather as much information as you can, and write it all down in a Christmas Planner, so that you don’t get hit with any unexpected surprises later. Along with the event info., make a note of any gifts or food dishes that may be needed and add them to your master gift list, so you can begin to scout out deals.

4. Pick a Name from a Hat

Many families don’t buy a gift for every family member, instead they pick one family member name and only buy for that individual. This money saving tip affords a great way to keep costs down, while still having the fun of exchanging gifts. You can set a price range in advance, and even list any items you‘d like to receive as gifts. If you think this money saving tip would work well for your family, start now by holding a family meeting to get everyone on board.

5. Give Homemade Gifts

Each year I create a coupon book for each of my kids. It doesn’t cost me anything, and they love getting them. Inside each booklet are coupons good for one item or activity that they can use, just like the coupons adults use from the grocery store. What makes this special is that I include coupons for the many items I usually say no to. Coupons books work well for adults too, and can include coupons for free dinners, special outings and offers to run errands.

6. Plan a Friends Holiday Get-together

Instead of exchanging gifts, why not host a get together at your home for your friends. Have everyone bring a dish and enjoy each others company - no gifts required. Pick the dates now and write them on your calendar, so there will be no scheduling conflicts.

7. Make Money from last years Winter Clothes

We all have them, clothes from last winter that we either don't like, or don't fit. Wash them, and take them to your local consignment shop. This money saving tip can make you some fast holiday cash.

8. Think about Holiday items at Thrift Stores

To find great stocking stuffers, kids party dresses, and frugal gift ideas at great prices, check out your local thrift store. Whatever you find now, just hide away for later.

9. Schedule Free Entertainment ideas

Think back to events you attended last year, that you would like to enjoy again this year. Was there a church play that you loved, or a terrific choir performance at the mall? Write these down on your calendar. If you don’t know the exact dates yet, list the event anyway at the top of the calendar until you do.

10. Pick your Travel Dates now

If you know your exact travel dates now, you can start watching for great air fares, and book in advance to save the most money. This money saving tip can save you big bucks!

11. Visit paperbackswap.com

for free books to read on cold winter nights.

12. Keep the Thermostat 1 degree lower than usual

Keeping the temperature just one degree lower can save money on utility bills by as much as 5%.

That's it! That's 12 ways to help you answer the question, "How to Christmas on a budget".

Here are more money saving tips to help you live better.