The Christmas season is fully upon us. We have finished our decorating and are getting ready for all the shopping, family gatherings, and seasonal activities. A big part of Christmas has become gift giving. This is true for us, especially with younger children. Although we have our Christmas gift fully funded, we came up with some ideas to save us time and money. Here are thee ways that we're streamlining and saving on Christmas this year.
Saving Time And Money On A Gift Exchange
On my wife's side, there are six adults that exchange gifts. Traditionally, we had a budget and list for both of my in-laws, plus my sister-in-law, as well as her boyfriend. That was four people to buy for. This year, we all agreed to a system where we drew names and each person will buy for one other person out of the four people not in our household. This means that between my wife and I, we'll only have two people to shop for instead of four. This is also less gifts to wrap. We also put a cap on the budget, which will save us around $50 versus the budget we had previously in place to cover all four people.
Using Gift Cards
When we signed up for our new cell phone plan, we got lots of Best Buy gift cards as we traded old phones in and signed for new plans. We used a lot of these up front, but still ended up with some left over. We plan on using these for some stuff for each other that Santa might get. This will basically be allowing us to buy gifts using money we've already spent! This will probably save us around $100.
Cutting Back On Each Other
My wife and I always joke about couples that have been married a long time who don't get each other anything. It
always seems to happen, but so far, we have stuck to buying each other a number of gifts. Although we're not giving up all gifts, we decided to both scale back. This will allow us to start setting money aside for other long term goals. It's nice to give each other gifts, but we're both realizing that having the money ready for other things is just as fulfilling. This should save us at least $200.
Saving On Christmas: Time And Money!
We're looking forward to just these three things making a difference on Christmas. Together, this would save at least $350, and maybe more. It's also less time spent on looking for gifts, wrapping gifts, and tracking the gift buying list. That's less stress, more money, and extra time. For my money, those are some pretty worthwhile benefits.
Readers, are you doing anything different this year to save money or time? How have your shopping and gift giving habits evolved? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.