Is it seriously almost November? Holy smokes!! Thanksgiving and Christmas will be upon us before we know it. I’m not even sure how we’ll get it all done! Does anybody have their Thanksgiving menu planned? Have you started Christmas shopping yet??
Technically I have started shopping, but I’m not even close to finished. As always, I have two burning questions: What should I buy these people and how will we afford it?
In a perfect world, we would all have a ton of money saved for the Holidays. Some people do, and I think they are fabulous! The rest of us don’t always reach our budgeting goals, however. (We are still fabulous though!)
When you haven’t saved enough, it’s sometimes difficult to figure out how you are going to pay for it all. Unless you are super dedicated to your budgeting skills or you are crafty enough to make all homemade gifts, you will most likely “find” a way to pay for gifts. Unfortunately, that way often involves credit card debt.
Personally, I’ve funded Christmas celebrations with credit cards more often than I’d like to admit. I’ve also taken out small loans from the bank and credit union. I’m not super proud of that.
Although I felt like my motives were good, in the end it’s never a smart idea to borrow money just so we can feel good about giving things away. It’s all sweet and thoughtful until that interest kicks in.
Now I know you are wondering; how do we have a great Christmas when the money just isn’t there??? You will find hundreds of articles on the internet with all kinds of advice, but I want to share four of my favorite things to do to slow down the Holiday spending.
- Earn a little extra money.
- Use what you have.
- Be creative.
- Direct Sales isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Earn a Little Extra Money
If I had to choose the best piece of advice, it’s to try to make a little extra money before Christmas so that you don’t have to use credit cards or loans. If you earn a little extra money, you’re still covered if you go a little over budget!
So how do you make extra money before Christmas? There are a lot of ways if you are willing to put in a little work.
Side jobs like waiting tables, delivering pizza, babysitting, or walking dogs can pull in a decent amount if you can work consistently. Yard sales (online or at your home) are another great option and one I use basically every year to earn Christmas money.
Check out the following posts for more great money-making ideas!
Use What You Have
Using what you have doesn’t necessarily mean regifting. Although, if you have some great items that you think someone else will enjoy, go for it! I have no issues at all with receiving regifted items. Then again, I never minded hand-me-downs either!!
Using what you have might also mean using a gift card with money left on it to pay toward a purchase total; using coupons/codes whether you are shopping in store or online; using supplies you have to make homemade gifts; or even just using your unique talents to come up with new and better ideas for a fabulous holiday season!
Be creative. Be thoughtful. Give gifts from the heart and gifts with meaning.
Moms and grandmothers love photo books, calendars, and personalized jewelry. People love meals that you prepare or freeze with instructions for prep.
Give a themed family basket instead of a gift for each person. Examples are: Movie Night, Cookie/Candy Making, Game Night, or even a Christmas-themed basket with music, hot cocoa, a blanket, and some twinkle lights!!
Read 10 Gifts for $10 or Less! for more inexpensive gift ideas.
Direct Sales Isn’t Necessarily a Bad Thing
Let’s all just agree that people see Direct Sales in a negative light most of the time. I’ve been there myself once or twice. All companies are not created equal and it really does matter if you put work into it or not, but that’s a story for a different day!
I promise this isn’t a spiel about how absolutely fabulous my company is (although I do love it), but I do want to share how I’m using my Direct Sales business to my benefit this Christmas.
First, we automatically get a 20% commission on anything anyone buys—that includes our own personal orders. As your sales go up, so does your commission. As a general rule, I get at least 25% back in commission each month, but it is possible to earn more.
My business is online and I have a dedicated website for people to order from. When people have parties, we set those up through the website and the hostess credit is calculated automatically. I can actually set up a party for myself and any orders I place through it earn Hostess Credit…for me!!!
Now how is this really helping, you ask? Well…I sell skincare and cosmetics. Most of the people on my Christmas list are adults. I’ve already told most of them that they will be getting something from our product line as a gift (my mom is SUPER excited)!
I buy Christmas gifts from money I already had budgeted. I get paid commission for the gifts I buy…plus I get Hostess Credit to buy more stuff!! It’s a win-win for me!
Holi-dozen and other Holiday items available in November!
If you’re curious about my business and the other products we offer, check it out here.
Last, But Not Least
Please don’t forget that Christmas isn’t about the gifts you give or the money you spend. Don’t overextend your budget and cause yourself a lot of stress trying to prove you can buy great presents! If you don’t have the money, you don’t have it and that’s okay.
Gifts of love and service are incredibly thoughtful and should be much appreciated. Here are a few suggestions:
- Write letters of encouragement
- Make homemade coupon books for services or skills you already have (babysitting, back massage, house cleaning, party planning, etc. — share your hidden talents!)
- Start a “Dinner of the Month” club. Set a date each month where they are invited to eat a home-cooked meal with you
- Give the gift of your time — even if it’s just a weekly phone call or dropping by for coffee
Take the time to think about the person and what kind of gift would mean the most to them. They will appreciate that more than you know!
If you want to get a jumpstart on savings for Holidays 2019, make sure to visit Simple Money Saving Tips + Three 52-Week Savings Printables! and download one of the printables to help you keep track of your savings!