This week in the Christian Mompreneurs Facebook Group (which you can join here!), we had a lively discussion with Kim Anderson of ThriftyLittleMom.com. We talked about how to have a Cash Only Christmas. It was so fun to gather with other moms in a virtual discussion and share tips for staying out of debt and keeping the focus on Jesus this holiday season. If you missed the chat, here are some of the highlights:
- The best way to prevent over spending at Christmas is to plan ahead! No matter what your budget is, write down everything you need to buy and how much you plan to spend.
- Don’t forget to budget for the ‘extras’ that always add up – gift wrap, postage, food, decorations, travel, parties, clothes, tips for the mail carrier, Christmas cards, etc. (If you have Amazon Prime, it may be worth it to have them do the wrapping and shipping for you!)
- Kim recommends using the envelope system – create an envelope for each person on your shopping list and put the amount of cash you have to spend on that person’s gift in the envelope. When it’s gone, you’re done shopping! (We also talked about using a pre-loaded debit card for all of your shopping to prevent going over budget.)
- Talk with your family about gift giving expectations. Consider drawing names for a gift swap or setting monetary limits on the gifts you purchase for each other. But if family members don’t agree on limits, then don’t feel like you have to match someone else’s giving level – remember, a gift should come from the heart.
- There’s nothing wrong with “re-gifting!” Elizabeth says she keeps a box in her closet of things that she’s received but won’t use. They are perfect for last minute gifts.
- Get creative with gifts for teachers, coaches and neighbors! Andrea made a sugar scrub and Elizabeth made sock cupcakes. Kim suggested practical gifts such as USB chargers or power banks. Sandra reminded us to check out the dollar store and Silvana suggested an adorable gift bag from Thirty One. Sarah mentioned DIY mugs filled with Sharpies and Danita likes to send teas, cocoas, chocolates, ornaments and notepads. Liz suggested candles, slipper socks or planners for teachers.
- Don’t go over budget with your charitable donations. Remember that you can make a big difference helping a local family in need or volunteering your time.
- Baked goods are always a big hit! Check out Kim’s free printable Christmas Treat Bag Toppers here!
- Remember – some of the best things to do over the holidays are free (or inexpensive)! Nanette suggests taking a drive to see the Christmas lights, watching Christmas movies at home or reading Christmas books from the library.
- It’s not too late to join Thrifty Little Mom’s Cash Only Christmas Challenge. You’ll find tools to help you stay in budget all year long on the site. And if you’re looking for more information on how to save money during the holiday season, listen in as Kim and her friend Rhonda share ideas on the Thrifty Little Mom Podcast!
A special thanks Kim Anderson and all the ladies who participated in the discussion! I love that we can share ideas this way. If you have an idea on how to have a Cash Only Christmas, please leave a comment and add to the discussion!