A recent Gallup poll shows that Americans are planning to spend more money this holiday season than last. But charging on credit cards for gifts at a time when rent, groceries, electric and other necessities are more expensive may not be the best thing to do. Instead of getting into more credit card debt, or taking money from savings, get into the holiday spirit and save money using one of the following suggestions.

If your family has never had a Secret Santa gift-exchange, also known as the Dirty Santa game, you’ve been missing out on a lot of fun and laughter. This is a fun and affordable way for everyone to enjoy the spirit of giving. 

  1. Instruct everyone in the family to buy a gift under a certain price- $20 works great but $10 will make it even more interesting on Christmas Day! 
  2. On the day, write numbers on individual slips of paper. 1-12, for example, or however many family members are in attendance. 
  3. Have each person draw a slip of paper.
  4. The person with the highest number chooses a gift first. They open their gift in front of everyone. 
  5. Next the personal with the second highest number chooses a gift, opens it, and then can then decide to keep the gift they opened or take the gift from the person who opened their gift first.
  6. This goes on and on and allows the person with the number 1 on their paper to choose from any of the other gifts that were previously opened. 

For a more personal approach to cost-effective gifting, have a Homemade Christmas. You don’t have to be an artist, a cook, baker, or a craftsperson to make someone a thoughtful gift for the holidays. The Pioneer Woman offers great suggestions. 

Canning Jar Cookies are always popular and Walmart sells 12-packs of canning jars with lids for as little as $14. Then buy the ingredients for a simple cookie recipe, fill each jar, close the lid, and put a ribbon around it. That would be 12 thoughtful and tasty Christmas gifts for less than $50. Snickerdoodle cookies are really simple to make and only take 5 ingredients, but Southern Living recently shared 23 Canning Jar Cookie recipes online, in case you’d like to be more creative.  

If your family is full of crazy personalities, try an Amazon Joke Gift Christmas. By shopping on Amazon, no one will have to deal with wrapping and shipping, and there’s a huge selection of funny gifts to choose from priced at $20 or less. 

Even better, skip the family gift exchange and choose a charity to donate to instead. The Salvation Army of Charlotte and Salvation Army of Greenville have Angel Tree programs that allow people to virtually select a family or child to shop for.  

For more money saving tips, don’t hesitate to reach out! And if you do use one of our suggestions, take a photo and tag us when you post on social media Facebook or Instagram