Holiday spending can be a budget buster. The expenses are numerous: presents, wrapping paper, food, travel and more. However, if you don’t have the funds to buy everything you want, there is no need to despair. With a little DIY creativity, you can get through the holidays without draining your checking account.
Why spend $75 to buy a scarf if you can knit it yourself with $15 of yarn? If you have a knack for crafts, making your own gifts is a great way to save, since supplies usually cost less than the finished product. Not only are homemade gifts cheaper, but many people appreciate them more than store-bought presents because of the personal touch. Don’t know your way around a glue gun? A framed photo always goes a long way.
Wrap with Re-Purposed Items
Skip the fancy wrapping paper and bows, and look around the house to see what you can use. Do you have a newspaper? The comic section works well as it provides a little color. Computer paper or supermarket bags are good alternatives as well. Meanwhile, cheap craft supplies such as glitter and paint can be used to decorate plain surfaces.
Cut Card Costs
Holiday cards are a great way to stay in touch, but the costs add up. It is not uncommon for store cards to cost $4 each—or more. If you sent cards to 20 people, that would cost you $80, not including postage. Creating your own cards can help you save, but resist the temptation to buy the pricey supplies that pepper the scrapbook aisles of craft stores. Another option? Create and send cards electronically, and don’t spend a dime.
Hang Up Homemade Decorations
Like gift-wrapping, you can use household items for decorations. Making a garland out of popcorn is a classic holiday decoration. Pine cones and acorns—available in abundance in many parts of the country—provide a perfect seasonal touch. If you are really craving store-bought decorations, consider waiting until after the holidays to buy. Most stores will be selling them at a deep discount, and you can use them next year.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a good time. By being creative with your purchasing, you can afford to celebrate during the holidays, and afterwards as well.