We all start out with good intentions this time of year.  But somehow we lose our way with the parties, shopping, gift giving, etc. Here are few sensible tips to help you stop overspending this Christmas season.

  • While we all love the smell of a real Christmas tree, an artificial is much more cost effective.  You can spend $50 and up for a tree every year that lasts a short time and then tossed.  Save your money and the trees.  If the scent of a fresh tree is what you want, there are candles and sprays that are pretty close to the real deal.
  • For your Christmas dinner, have everyone bring a dish to share.  Coordinate it so that you don’t end up with everyone bringing desserts.
  • Have a family gift exchange.  Agree on a dollar amount and then everyone brings one gift for the exchange.  Everyone draws a number; number 1 chooses a gift; number 2 can steal a gift or take one from under the tree, and so on.
  • Have a secret Santa exchange.  Everyone draws a name to buy for.  Nobody needs to know!
  • Give one gift to a family such as DVD’s or board games.
  • Instead of buying for many family members, give to a charity or donate  your time to a local charity.  There are many struggling to buy food, not gifts.
  • Buy for children only, no adults.