Christmas Spending - Is It Worth It?


 By Jennifer Clyne

Christmas is just around the corner, and with that usually comes excess food, stress and spending. But is it all worth it? Do the post-Christmas bills hit hard and make things worse for months after?

Here are our top suggestions to stay on budget this season and to keep January just as cheery as December!

  1. Make a budget and stick to it. SERIOUSLY stick to it.
  2. It is too late now, but save a little each month leading up to Christmas so you have your holiday spending money ready.
  3. Consider other options than giving loads of gifts. Suggestions: pick names out of a hat and give one gift each, substitute gifts for an experience, make homemade gifts instead of store-bought ones.
  4. Figure out a price limit with family.
  5. Buy gifts second hand. This might sound cheesy, but brand-new items are sold all the time on Craigslist, bidding sites etc. I literally just bought a new Kindle for $19, and I love it more that I got it for such a good deal!
  6. Ask family and friends to contribute to children’s RESP's rather than giving them gifts. Building for the future is a much more powerful gift than the short-term gratification they would get from a toy.
  7. Cut back on food and beverage costs. For instance, do holiday potlucks, eat in more than dining out, make a food budget in advance.
  8. Create affordable Christmas traditions. I believe most of what makes Christmas special are the traditions we look forward to and the people we surround ourselves with. Make traditions affordable and memorable for all. Perhaps watching a favorite Christmas movie at home, family game nights, walking through neighborhoods to see Christmas lights etc.
  9. Give the gift of disappointment. Ok I say this half-jokingly, because this has become a bit of a joke in our house. My father believes one of the best gifts you can give your children is the gift of disappointment. The gift that teaches them that they won’t always get what they want in life. Now every year for Christmas I make sure to get my dad that 😉
  10. Trade gifts/services. Perhaps you’re a hair stylist, and your friend is nail technician. Maybe you can switch gift cards with each other.

By incorporating these types of suggestions into your holidays you will find it comes with many other perks than just cutting the holiday bills. You will create less waste, you will probably be less stressed, and hopefully you will create many more wonderful memories!