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Holiday season is fast approaching, get into the holiday spirit with these Christmas saving strategies to avoid overspending, holiday debt and higher interest rates.

In 2017 44% of shoppers  in the United States took on more than $1000 in Christmas debt. Some 5% accumulated more than $5000 in debt.  Their credit score suffered from the ghost of Christmas past.

Pressure from Social media, advertisements, friends and family members lures people in to Christmas debt.

Some families forego paying household bills to buy Christmas gifts, some even go the extra mile and postpone their mortgage/rent payments.

Christmas saving tips to enjoy a debt free holiday season

Christmas saving strategies other moms use for a stress free holiday season


Give & Ask for experiences instead of gifts


Agnes’ family gives and asks for experiences instead of gifts. They too give other families experiences instead of gifts. Experiences include:

  • Museum passes
  • Movie night packages
  • Restaurant gift cards to eat out a family.
  • Donate toys to a children’s ward/hospital
  • Pampering sessions
  • Date nights for mom & dad
  • Fishing trips
  • Camping trips
  • Cooking and pottery classes.
  • Passes to local activity center for kids i.e wall climbing, jumping on trampolines etc.

Trim your monthly budget in December to accommodate gifts


Mel does not have a separate christmas plan. She uses her monthly budget, lowers it in December to accommodate Christmas shopping.

Elise is vigorously paying off her student loans & credit card debt this year. She trimmed her budget and Christmas list for this year.

Trim your budget in December to accommodate gifts

She has already bought a few gifts for her immediate family members during long holiday sales.


Utilize your cashback rewards


Mia uses her money from ibotta cash back. That way she does not need a lot of money to buy gifts. She also shops early enough for deals.

Sophia already finished her Christmas shopping for this year. Everything is wrapped and stocked away.  I need to be more like her. She points accumulated from Kmart loyalty program.


Sinking Fund


Megan has a 12 month plan.  Christmas is built into the budget $130/month is for everything Christmas.  She adds extra money to the fund when she can.

Dinner, decorations, family gifts, and teachers’ gifts are all covered in the sinking fund. It adds up, stress free.

Set up a Christmas sinking fund to avoid holiday debt.

Shop one gift from every paycheck.


You could buy one person a gift from each paycheck, depending on how big and how often you get your paycheck. Angela swears by this trick, saves a lot of time and stress.


Sell unwanted stuff around the house


This year, Elly sold unwanted stuff from her house on Ebay and Facebook Marketplace.  She made a lot of money, which money she is going to cover everything Christmas from gifts, decorations, food and travels.


Utilize your Christmas bonus


Skylar uses some of her Christmas bonus from work for her Christmas shopping.  Stay within your preset budget Christmas gift budget though.


Shop for gifts during sales all year long


Shop for Christmas gifts during clearance sales all year long. Carol swears by this tip. She saves $50 a month in a deposit account for Christmas/birthday gifts.

She takes with her this debit card  when shopping for Christmas/birthday gifts. By the time Christmas rolls around, her shopping is complete.

Shop for Christmas gifts year round to save money

Dylan did this year’s Christmas shopping when Toys r Us  had 60% off. She saved a lot of money. Look out for closing store sales in your region.


Draw names for whom to shop for


Bea comes from a large family. The whole family gets together every year a few months before christmas,  they draw names.

Each family member buys one gift worth $30 for one extended family member. Bea shops for her hubby, children, mom, dad and one other family member.

The whole extended family like the idea. They save a lot of money.


Homemade gifts are so thoughtful


Jovia bought boxes of fresh fruit at the local farmers’ market. She made different flavored jelly to give out all the people on her gift list.

Home made gifts are thoughtful, they melt the receiver’s heart and most of all save you money.  It says something when someone takes time to make a gift from scratch.

Homemade soaps are also popular Christmas gifts. Simplelifemom has very good tutorial for beginners.

Natural Living has also very good homemade soap recipes anyone can try out at home.

Homemade bath salts


Taking a bath with salts is good for selfcare, it is affordable, exfoliates the skin and can release muscle pain.

Martha Stewart and Wellness Mama have very popular homemade bath salts recipes you can try out.

Alana knits all year round for the adults on her Christmas list. By beginning of August, she had around 42 knitted scarves & socks.

Secret Santa


Secret Santa is a Christmas tradition. Friends or family member draw random names so they become someone’s secret Santa.  One person becomes the other’s secret Santa.

Sarah’s family, practices the secret Santa tradition with a one gift rule. For Sarah’s family, the holidays are about family time, not consuming material stuff.

Register as a secret Santa to organize your secret Santa party for family or friends.


Auto deposits to Savings & Money Market Accounts


It may be a little late this year, consider the Christmas saving tips below in preparation for next year’s season.

Set up auto deposit from your checking account to savings account. Prossy set up auto depositing to a high yielding savings account from her checking account all year round.

Set aside money every month in Christmas account

Use that money for Christmas gifts, children’s birthdays parties and gifts, wedding gifts, Christmas decorations, Christmas food shopping.  Start shopping for everything Christmas in late August, you will be done by October.

Katie opened a Christmas club account through her Credit Union this past January. She deposits $50 every week. She expects to have around $2,600 by end of November. Best decision she ever made.

Ella uses a Money Market Account  to save for Christmas gifts and decorations.  Makes note of what your family and friends would love for Christmas throughout the year.

However withdrawing the funds before agreed period results in charges with higher interest rate.

Start shopping for those gifts around late September. You will be done by November everything including stockings gifts.

Find out from your financial institution the different accounts offered to see what best suits your needs.

Christmas is a joyful and merry time for many people.  The food, lights, gifts and holiday spirit. With good planning, you can have a peaceful Christmas with no debt.

How do you save money for Christmas shopping? Share with us in the comments below how you save money for Christmas.

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