This year things are going to be tight for Christmas. I have already started the shopping, which is by far the most expensive part of the holiday. There is still a meal to plan for nine people, decorations, and the wrapping. After talking to my husband, we have decided to change things up this year and cut back on some things. These are the cutbacks, and how much they will save us this year.
Using our artificial tree
When I was growing up, we always had an artificial tree. I wanted something different for my kids, so we began buying a real tree when we had our babies. Going to the tree farm and cutting our own evergreen had become one of our traditions. Sadly, this year we will be digging out the artificial tree and saving our money. A real Christmas tree would run between $30 and $35 depending on the year. That money now needs to be used for other things. Using the "fake" tree will save us at least $30 this year.
Limit the gifting
For the last several years, we have been buying for approximately 20 people. This year, we decided that we will buy for the immediate family only, and just send cards to everyone else. We usually spend $20 a person on average, except when buying for our children. While this only cuts out five people, it is a savings of at least $100. This is not one of our favorite ways to save money, but it has to happen this year.
Avoiding Black Friday
For the last two years, I have gone out on Black Friday with my best friend. I would always save money to have ready for the sales, which usually amounted to approximately $150. I would then have to have extra cash for our coffee stop, lunch break, and anything else we decided to do. After everything was said and done, I spent close to $250 both years. This year it is just not possible. The money we would have been saving has been used for other things that we have needed. I may shop online and see what I can get, but the cash out of pocket is not happening. By giving up this adventure, we are saving at least $250.
By tweaking our Christmas plans we were able to see where we have overspent in prior years. After running all the numbers, we were able to easily cut out $380. That is enough money to cover half of our rent payment with money leftover.
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