(Inside: Sometimes, you find yourself in mid-November wondering How to Afford Christmas when you have no money. That’s ok. You’re not alone. And there are some ideas to keep you from drowning in misery while everyone else sings jingle-bells.)
Christmas is a beautiful time of year.
Between Christmas decorations and twinkling lights, everything looks festive and magical. For a lot of people, however, Christmas can cause a feeling of dread.
About mid-November, I sometimes start to wonder, “How to afford Christmas when you have no money?”
This can lead to a lot of stress and anxiety, which makes the Christmas season horrible, rather than magical.
But, affording Christmas isn’t always a matter of money. Sometimes, it’s a matter of being creative with what you have.
This, friends, is How to Afford Christmas When You Have No Money.
Preparing for Christmas if You Have a While
Save Money for Christmas
There are a lot of ways to buy Christmas presents.
Some people (not me) save starting at the beginning of the year. Some people have special bank accounts called a Christmas club or something similar (still not me). Money is deposited into the accounts with every check and then as the Christmas season gets close, the money is withdrawn, and it is available for shopping.
This is a really smart way to plan–to literally budget for Christmas (or other holidays/events) every paycheck. But not everyone (read that to mean: ME) can do that.
Inevitably, every year, I find myself in a bind with money around holidays–and a strong desire to spoil my kids and family.
So, I’ve learned some tricks. So, if you’re like me and you do not have money saved, and there is no extra money in the budget to afford Christmas presents…well, this is where creativity happens.
A lot of people think that if they have no money, they simply can’t afford Christmas presents.
While it is not easy to give the type of presents you like to give, or as many presents as you like to give, when you have no money for Christmas, it IS still possible to afford Christmas. Even when you have no money.
So, don’t give up–just get creative.
Affording Christmas when You Have No Money
Using a Credit Card
Credit cards are sometimes an option for buying Christmas presents.
A lot of people use credit cards each year to buy presents, but unless you are skilled at playing the credit card game, this is not a good idea. What do I mean by credit card game?
Some people have low interest, zero balance interest credit cards. So they use the credit card and pay off the balance right away so that no or little interest accrues.
Normally people who have a very tight budget cannot afford to pay the balance off quickly.
Because of interest, buying Christmas presents on a credit card can make your budget even tighter for the months to come–and can put you in a really bad place if you can’t find a way to pay off that debt.
I try to stay away from credit card usage as much as possible.
BUT, because my “second income” from blogging is sometimes sporadic, I do sometimes put Christmas gifts on credit cards–but only when I know I am being paid in January for work I’m doing in December.
Facebook groups are a great place to look when you can’t afford Christmas presents. Facebook has a large marketplace that can be narrowed down by area.
There is a wide variety of things that people offer for sale, at yard sale prices. For the people selling, they might be trying to get it out of their house to make room, or they could be trying to make extra money to afford Christmas presents.
Whatever the reason, these items can range from new with tags to slightly used, to being well loved. Take your time and search carefully.
You can find toys for kids, collectibles for friends and family, household items, and everything in between.
In addition to these sale groups and posts, there is another way to use Facebook to your benefit when trying to figure out how to afford Christmas when you have no money.
Many areas have free groups on Facebook. These are specific groups that are just for sharing free items. These are used items that people no longer want but do not want to deal with the hassle of selling stuff.
These items can make Christmas presents.
One more way to use Facebook groups and marketplace to help get Christmas presents is to sell your own things. Look around your house and see what you can sell.
It is simple to list these items on Facebook and earn some extra money for things like Christmas presents.
Much like shopping through Facebook groups and Facebook Marketplace, heading to a thrift store is a great way to find presents for everyone on your list. Thrift stores often sell clothes, toys, household goods, and even tools.
The dollar store, true dollar stores like Dollar Tree, offer great items that can be used for Christmas. Kids will enjoy toys, puzzles and coloring or art supplies.
There are often fun kid shampoos, body wash and bubbles.
Create a gift basket using things you know that the kids will love. This concept can easily be used for someone who is into beauty products, gadgets, prepping or just about anything.
Pinterest is a great place to find ideas on inexpensive things to make for Christmas presents.
Even people who are not crafty can find things to make.
If crafts are not an option for you, bake something. Most people love the idea of getting special baked goods as a present. Oftentimes, you can create special holiday treats for everyone on your list for under $20 worth of ingredients.
If you need some ideas…let me tell you, I am all about getting crafty for the holidays. Here’s a few things I’ve made over the years:
- Bath Bombs
- Harry Potter Pencil Wands
- Unicorn Lip Scrub
- No-Sew Sock Teddy
- Candle Holders
- Molded Crayons
- Molded Chocolates
- Gingerbread Cookies
Literally, the list of handmade gifts could go on and on. You just have to be creative.
Especially for adults, these can be simple things like homemade fudge–they get that it’s not about the money, but the thought. And children love handmade things, too–you just have to be creative.
Maybe it’s a snow globe of the car they used to play with all the time–and still love, but they don’t play with cars. Seriously.
JUST. Get. Creative.
If you want to go with a Debt Free Christmas, I HIGHLY recommend my friend Joyce’s book Debt Free Christmas. She breaks down how to plan it out and keep yourself in the black, so you’re not racking up those bills for later.
Now. Let’s get you pinning this.
And remember: don’t let the stress of the holidays and money get you down.
Don’t let it stress you out and make the Christmas season a time of dread.
Use these simple ways to afford Christmas when you have no money.
Here are a Few More Christmas Ideas that You will Want to Try: