When I talk to my friends and family about the holidays, the subject of budgeting and credit card debit comes up. No one can ever believe me when I tell them we accumulate 0 credit card debit for holidays and I never spend more than $50 on gifts.
I have had people say things like "That is a flat out lie Sara. The gift you gave us last year cost at least $30!"
They always want to know how I can decorate, gift and give without spending more than $50 out of my own pocket. Today I am going to share the low down with you too.
First, being a family that lives on a budget, events such as back to school, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and birthdays are always on my mind! Creative ways to accumulate funds or gifts is a year round project.
I do a variety of things online to add to my kitty.
If I see a great item on clearance I will buy it, but only if I have the extra cash on hand. I don't buy on my debit card or credit card.
At the end of each season I buy the goods I need next year on clearance. I use my stash of gift cards to do this. I buy wrapping paper when it is down to 50 cents a roll or less. Same with bows, gift tags, bags and etc. Seasonal trinkets are also great to get when they get marked down to 80-90% off. I get stocking stuffers for 20 cents and stash them for the next year. Or I might buy Easter coloring books for 10 cents and stash them too.
Inbox Dollars I spend about 25 minutes a week reading emails, playing games, watching videos and more. I have cashed out several times. It is pretty easy money and you get a $5 sign up just for joining!
I shop Zuilly. I shop here because it is easy to earn credits and they have such super deals. I get really low priced deals here through out the year and add to my "Gift Box".
I use the WalMart Savings Catcher App. I scan each receipt I get from WalMart and accumulate savings on products. I wait to 'cash out' until there is something I need to buy for a holiday.
I have the Shutterfly app, so I watch out for special offers, free prints and more. Photo gifts are always a hit. If you are not using Shutterfly sign up here for FREE Prints!!
I of course watch amazon for deals. I save money on everything! I do tasks on m turk to earn money too. I don't have much time for this, but I would estimate I spend about 30 minutes a week turking and making some spare change on easy tasks.
As a blogger, if I participate in a campaign that pays via a gift card, I save it.
That is how I can afford to celebrate all of the major holidays without dipping into our budget for any extra expenses. I limit us to about $50 for last minute things like batteries.
How does your family afford the holidays?