Christmas! It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Full of catchy tunes, pretty lights, possibly some snow if you’re lucky and of course, quality time spent with friends and family. With all the joy that Christmas brings, it also is the time of year that (probably) makes the biggest dent in your wallet. It’s a time meant for giving and let’s be real, it gets pricey.
You may be one of those people that start saving on December 26th or you’re the opposite, and that piggy bank is closer to empty than it is full. But that’s ok! You don’t have to spend your last dollar on one day of the year. Coming from a recent college grad that understands ‘ballin’ on a budget’ is for sure a real thing, I’m here with a few ideas you get through this holiday without completely breaking your bank;
DIY. I LOVE do it yourself gifts! Not only are they more personable and unique, but they’re also super affordable. I’m making personalized photo coasters for someone on my list and homemade sugar scrubs. Homemade chai tea, cookie mix or a hot chocolate kit can always be made cute when put into a mason jar tied with a red bow. Honestly, the options are endless when it comes to do it yourself. More ideas >>> Pinterest.
Photos. Everyone loves a framed photo! Printing off photos is super inexpensive, giving you more money to spend on the frame. If you’re really into the DIY, you could even create your own frame.
Recipe box. Yes, there’s the internet which makes finding a recipe too easy, but nothing beats a family tradition. Gather all the family recipes and make each member of the family a box full of recipes. You can add to them each year, pass them down and create an awesome family tradition. Now you can have Grandma’s deviled eggs, your mom’s creamy green bean casserole or your uncle’s pumpkin pie all in one box!
Date cards. All those fun date ideas you’ve been thinking of all year, wrap them up and make date cards for your significant other (or lady friend for those of us single ones out there). You can do one for each month of the year or make your ‘other’ choose when they want to use them. It’s thoughtful and is a gift to both of you to spend more time together. This will also help your budget by spreading out your money for these date cards.
Photo opp. Create your own photo booth at your party by hanging a backdrop and having a camera readily available (a disposable camera is always fun). For Christmas, craft up some cute props. Let the memories live on through photos.
Decoration. Sorry to say it, you probably won’t find a cheap Christmas tree, but you can decorate your house while sticking to your budget! Paint letters to spell out NOEL, make your own wreath (wreath decorating parties are a thing now), buy dollar store ornaments to put in vases, etc.
Cookie exchange. Simplifies the holiday baking you have to do and gives you a variety of cookies to offer to guests. Not only do you leave with more cookies, but also some recipes to keep!
White elephant. Instead of buying presents for all of your BFF’s, host a white elephant party! Everyone brings one gift and everyone leaves with one gift, it’s a win for all involved.
BYOB. Just saying.
Remember the most important part of the holiday season is spending time with those you love. At the end of the day the gifts and parties don’t matter as much as the company that surrounds you.