Christmas can be really expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. With a little creativity, a little planning, and some hard work, you can create a magical Christmas for you and your family without spending a cent.
See Christmas will be here before you know it, and the thought of filling the empty space under your tree is probably starting to give you a little anxiety. Don’t worry, I’m here to help for the holidays.
Think of this post as your step-by-step guide to making Christmas happen when you have no money. If you are willing to keep your Christmas simple this year, it can absolutely be done. Incorporating even just a few of these ideas into your Christmas planning with save you money, and create a memorable Christmas. Let’s get started.
How to Afford Christmas When You Have No Money
When money is tight, the first thing you will hear is “Christmas is about more than just presents under the tree.” That’s all fine and good, but just because you don’t have cash doesn’t mean there won’t be any gifts this year. While this can certainly be an option for you, I don’t think it’s time to take such drastic measures just yet.
Focus on Immediate Family First
This includes your spouse and kids. Nobody else. If you are able to find some wiggle room, then by all means buy or make gifts for your extended family. However, if you are working with a zero budget, you need to drastically reduce the number of people you are buying gifts for.
Make Presents Instead of Buying Them
Making presents is the perfect way to be creative and frugal when it comes to gifts. Here are some great gift ideas you can make that can be made with materials you probably already have:
- Coupon Books for time together or things you can do for someone.
- Decorated Ornament
- DIY Super Hero Mason Jar Bank
- Hot Cocoa Kit
- Mason Jar Snowglobe
- Sugar Scrub
- Tile Coasters
- Sharpie Mugs
- DIY Christmas Card
- Scrabble Bracelet
- Sweater Mittens
- DIY Recipe Binder
- Mason Jar Toothbrush Caddies
- Rather than focusing on material gifts, instead look for ways to gift experiences over stuff.
Look for opportunities for Free Gifts
Check the free section of Craigslist and Freecycle regularly for items you can use to make something, or give as a gift to someone on your list. You may also be able to score some decorations and stocking stuffers as well.
Make your own
Christmas decorations are REALLY expensive. Skip the store-bought decorations this year, and make your own instead. You can even turn this into a family activity! Here are some great homemade Christmas decoration ideas:
- DIY Mason Jar Wreath Ornament
- Wine Glass Decorations
- DIY Ornament Wreath
- Snowman Bottle Cap Ornament
- Joy Bottles
- Styrofoam Tree (Pinterest has thousands of variations of this cute craft)
- Snowman Fridge
- Snowman Candle Holder
- Egg Carton Reindeer and Sleigh
- Hot Glue Gun Snowflakes
- Chicken Wire Christmas Light Balls
- Snowflake Luminaries
- Tealight Snowmen
- Toilet paper roll Christmas Tree
- Clay Pot Snowmen
- Thumb Print String Light Art
- Popsicle Stick Snowflakes
- Cardboard Fireplace
- DIY Advent Calendars
- Turn Pillows into Presents
- Christmas Wine Bottle Crafts
- Mini Christmas Tree Decor
- Snowman Milk Jugs
- Toilet Paper Roll Christmas Crafts
- Cottonball Santa Craft
You don’t have to spend money to enjoy the holiday season with your family. There are hundreds of things you can do together as a family that won’t cost you a thing! Here are some of my favorites:
- Drive or walk around and look at Christmas lights
- Volunteer together
- Bake Christmas cookies together (here are 100 different recipes from the Dating Divas)
- Go caroling
- Attend a nearby Christmas parade
- Attend a free holiday concert
- Make ornaments or decorations together
- Watch Christmas movies together
- Build a Gingerbread House (you can find a lot of the supplies needed at deep discounts if you stock up ahead of time, however you can get creative and build one out of things from around your home)
[clickToTweet tweet=”Looking to do the holidays w/o breaking the bank? Check out how to afford Christmas on a budget.” quote=”Looking to do the holidays w/o breaking the bank? Check out how to afford Christmas on a budget.” theme=”style1″]
Despite the commercials and media hype, you don’t have to spend ANY money to still have a nice Christmas.
*This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post and linking up with Kristi at Finding Ninee. This week’s sentence is “The holidays are coming, and…”