How to Celebrate the Holidays on a Budget

I know, I know, it feels a little early to start writing about the holidays. But friends, it's the perfect time to start thinking about the holidays. Especially if you want to celebrate without falling into the trap of overspending. I'm here to show you that you don't need to break the bank to have a memorable holiday season with your loved ones. You can be generous and frugal all at the same time! I'll be sharing creative tips and ideas on how to celebrate the holidays in a budget-friendly way without compromising the holiday cheer! The secret is to start planning now!

how to celebrate the holidays on a budget

How to Celebrate the Holidays On a Budget

celebrate the holidays on a budget

Tips for Preparing a Holiday Budget

The holiday season comes at the same time every year, but unexpected expenses sneak up each year and catch you and your wallet off guard. Making a holiday budget can help you turn those surprise expenses into planned costs, give you a solid foundation to prevent new year debt and stress, and help you manage your holiday spending!

Start Planning Early

When setting up your holiday budget, it’s important to start planning early. Setting up your budget based on what is important to you and your family will ensure that everything in your everyday budget isn’t sacrificed for one month of fun.

Not only will you have more flexibility to save each week or month, but you’ll also have more time to save even if your budget is already shoestring tight. Because we can exercise restraint in areas during the rest of the year, we can make sure we always have money for the holiday season by the time the holidays roll around.

I wrote a whole post about how we budget for the holidays here.

Take Advantage of Sales Throughout the Year

Instead of waiting until Christmas to start shopping, we shop for everything from stocking stuffers to presents throughout the year! As soon as Christmas is over, you’ll find me stocking up on items during after Christmas sales. I keep an eye on sales I find on Amazon and I have a special section in a closet where I tuck away items I've purchased on sale for just this very reason!

Outside of after Christmas, taking advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals can help you get steep discounts on everything on your list! Be on the lookout for toy sales, post-holiday sales, and more to help you take advantage of the must-have items on your list.


How to Celebrate the Holidays on a Budget

Over the past 40+ years, I’ve celebrated a lot of Christmases. My experience has taught me that Christmas is much less about what’s under the tree and who you spend it with. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found ways to simplify the holidays. Instead, we focus on family traditions and experiences over gifts during the holiday season, which can help reduce holiday stress in itself!

If you have older kids and need help navigating the holidays, I wrote a whole post you need to check out here!

Deck the Halls

I’m no home decorator, but I love making my home cozy for the holidays! If you want to save money on your holiday budget this year, consider making some of your holiday decor! Whether it’s all the essentials to trim the perfect Christmas tree or add some holiday festiveness to your home, these posts will help you deck the halls on a budget!

Trimming the Tree

Decorating a Christmas tree is not for the faint of heart! I have spent years finding the perfect ornaments and lights to learn that my tree isn’t complete because I didn’t flock to it. Pinterest and Instagram will fill you with tree-envy, but with these easy DIYs, you can post tree-envy-worthy photos!

If you want to save on your holiday tree expenses, these DIYs will help you decorate the perfect tree on a budget. 

How to Decorate Your Christmas Tree:

DIY Ornaments for Your Christmas Tree:


Holiday Home Decorations

If you’re looking for great budget-friendly holiday decor, my best tip is to make your own! Craft stores and holiday decor will be through the rough in every store! But you can make your own for a fraction of the price and save even more on your holiday budgeting!

I use my Cricut Explore Air to make most of my holiday decorations, but you can make plenty of DIY-friendly decor pieces without one!

Holiday Baking and Goodies

The stores will be packed with everything from Christmas cookies to homemade egg nog during the holiday season. We reduce our spending during the holiday season by working these homemade goodies into our grocery budget!

Here are some of my all-time favorite holiday recipes:

Holiday Stockings and Gifts

The holiday season is a time for giving. While narrowing down your gift-giving list can be challenging, this is one of the first things you want to do when budgeting for the holidays. Make sure to include things like gift wrap and shipping costs, too!

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

If you’re looking for stocking stuffer ideas, check out these posts!

Holiday Gifts

If you need help figuring out how to budget for gifts or how to deal with all those pages of holiday gift catalogs, here are some posts to help!

Finding a great gift for everyone on a budget can be tough. Here are some great gift ideas!


Holiday Cards

My family LOVES sending out and receiving holiday cards, so we prioritize this in our holiday budgeting. I wrote a whole post on how to get your dog to pose for holiday photos that you can check out here. We have used Minted to make way cheaper holiday cards than anything we could make at home. Here's a tip, keep an eye out for those early bird sales. Usually card companies will discount their holiday cards 50% off or more before the busy season to reward those for getting their orders in early. This might mean, signing up for those email lists just before Thanksgiving so you get notified as soon as those sales happen! It's worth it and you'll save a ton!

As the holiday season approaches, I hope these budget-friendly tips have inspired you to celebrate in a way that is both meaningful and affordable! You don't have to go over budget to make a beautiful memory, but there is a little planning involved! And, by planning ahead, you can avoid some of the stress that comes with those last minute purchases. You'll be able to sit back and enjoy the season!

disclaimer: this post may have affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing through them, I may receive a small commission. These small purchases help me to continue to keep writing content and creating at Rachel Teodoro. Thank you!

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