(MoneyHippo.com) – As much as we intend to save up for the holidays, Christmas can seemingly come out of nowhere. Before you know it, freshly cut trees are on sale at the local grocery store, the food prices are high, and you still need money to buy presents and decorate. Don’t worry. There are plenty of ways to celebrate — even in a tough economy, where it’s hard to sock away cash. Here are three ideas.
- Make a budget: Set limits instead of spending willy-nilly and worrying about the fallout later. Decide beforehand how much you’ll set toward gifts, food, travel, and decor. Planning out expenditures won’t leave any unpleasant surprises in January, and you can adjust other expenses to accommodate any extra costs.
- Buck tradition: Consider an alternative when trying to save money, whether you usually have a big feast or buy a live Christmas tree each year. Think about having a potluck dinner for your get-together to minimize costs and pick up an artificial tree you can reuse when the holidays arrive instead of shelling out cash for a new one every December.
- Shop secondhand: If you really want to buy a physical gift to give to your loved one, think about visiting eBay, thrift stores, or garage sales to shop. Just because you’re buying a present doesn’t mean it has to be new. Selecting Christmas gifts this way could save you a bundle and allow you to choose something that perhaps isn’t available in stores anymore.
Remember, the spirit of the holidays isn’t in how much you spend but in the love and laughter you share with family and friends. Merry Christmas!
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