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10 Great Tips For Budget Christmas Shopping

Christmas is definitely a season where the bank balance can take a heft hit or two. We all want to spoil the loved ones around us, but it can leave us all with a few raised eyebrows when we actually check back up on ourselves. 

We decided to talk to several leading budget experts for their opinions on what makes a good budget Christmas shop and how we can all make those pennies stretch out a little bit further this year. 

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#1 Mystery Shopping

An EXCELLENT way to get through the holidays on a shoe-string budget is to mystery shop! Mystery shopping is a completely legitimate side-hustle and there's no better time to learn than at Christmas! Not only can you make money mystery shopping, but you can get gifts too - and the best part is that purchases are reimbursed in exchange for writing the mystery shop report.

I've mystery shopped my way through the past dozen Christmases and wouldn't have it any other way. My Christmas budget is small but my giving is big!

Contributor: Jen from smartypantsfinance.com

#2 Create A Budget

You can easily find yourself over-spending during the holiday season. Even those great sales you see all around can pose a threat to your pocket. Setting a budget in advance not only gives you control of your finances to reach your financial goals, but it helps reduce a lot of stress and anxiety most people endure during the season of giving.

Setting a budget will give you an idea of how much you plan to spend on each family member or friend and how much you want to leave yourself with.

Contributor: Jennifer Magana with orangecountyscu.org

#4 Thrift Shopping

Think outside of the box for your gift giving. Try thrift-stores for unique one-of-kind items. Even my 38-year-old son likes to display toys from his childhood so I'm always on the lookout for vintage toys. One of my other son's all-time favorite gifts was a huge tote of Lego purchased at a thrift store. Another son got a tote full of Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles. My kids didn't care if a gift was used, especially when they got a big tote bin full. I've bought nice mugs, added a couple packets of flavored cocoa mix, and candy canes.

I've picked up new-in box items too, including sealed boxes of vintage stationery for a daughter who loves to write letters, nice throws, pajama sets, most likely someone else's gifts they didn't care for.

Contributor: Mary Potter Kenyon from marypotterkenyon.com

#9 DIY Holiday Party

If you’re hosting a party, decorations are a necessity if you’re looking to create a festive feel, and this means you can find yourself spending a pretty penny unnecessarily very quickly. Instead, try going through boxes of decorations ahead of time to see what you will need to repurpose or replace. If you find you need to replace items, look through magazines or Pinterest to do a little DIY decorating.

Contributor: Jennifer Magana with orangecountyscu.org

#10 Create A List

Making a list not only helps you keep your thoughts remain in an organized document, it helps you foresee the expenditures you’ll soon be making. Not only do you have the opportunity to see what you will be spending upfront, but you’ll have a the opportunity to cut costs long before you make that impulsive purchase. It’ll also help you remain strict on what you purchase for others.

Contributor: Jennifer Magana with orangecountyscu.org

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Written by James Metcalfe

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