6 Tricks to Have a No Spend Christmas

Christmas time is a crazy time of year. We’ve got lots of things happening from parties to family commitments to all the gift giving. It’s easy to blow your budget on all the events and gifts. Lots of people go into the holiday season without a plan and end up in debt or rack up even more than they already have.

We know the holidays come around every year at the same time so there is no reason why we shouldn’t be planning ahead.

This year I'm going to be working on having a no spend Christmas. My goal to achieve a no spend Christmas is not to spend any money out of my pocket on gifts for family members and friends. Right now it feels like an insurmountable goal but I feel like with some planning and thinking ahead (hence the post in October!!) I can do it. 

Here are the steps I'm going to take to make sure I successfully have a no spend Christmas in 2021!

Earn extra money
This is one of the biggest ways I'm going to make sure I have a no spend Christmas. I've mentioned before that I love to take surveys and take part in focus groups to earn some extra money for our budget. 

I've been completing surveys for several years through websites like SurveyJunkie and Swagbucks. In addition to those types of sites and apps I also rack up points through National Consumer Panel, ReceiptPal, Swagbucks and other apps. 

These take only a little bit of time each week and the points add up. I've been saving my points on all of these apps for a couple of months now and will be able to cash in for a couple hundred dollars in November. 

Don't want to do those type of things? Maybe adding a second job for a little bit is how you'll bring in more money without using your normal budget. 

Decide on your Christmas budget early
Deciding on a budget early is crucial to making sure you have a good holiday season financially. Before you start even making plans and purchasing gifts figure out how much you’re going to spend.

If you have a significant other be sure to talk through and make the decision together. You don’t want to go in thinking you’ll spend $20 per family member to find out your partner has already been spending $50.

When you're working on a no spend Christmas this is important as well since you're using the extra money it's especially important to stick to what is probably a smaller budget. I know exactly how much extra I'm bringing in from a well paying focus group and that is our budget for gifts this year. 

Check your gift stash
I am completely guilty of purchasing something months ahead of time because I thought it was perfect or it was on super sale then forgetting I got it for that person. I have a well stocked stash that was building over a few years. 

Last year and this year I'm making great strides to make sure I give these items to the intended giftees. This definitely helped since there are several people who I don't need to get anything for this year! I've already got their gifts and they will actually be wrapped this week too. 

Make a list & track your gifts
This goes hand in hand with the last item clearly. It’s really easy to forget things like teacher gifts, stocking stuffers or that new coworker on your team. Be sure to write yourself a list of all the different gifts you need to purchase for the year.
I like to keep track in Excel for the year, not just for Christmas. This is really helpful when you’re purchasing gifts early. If you’re like me and you purchase early be sure to track what you purchased and that it’s been purchased for that person.

Spread out the spending 
If you're worried about bringing in enough money at the end of the year for your no spend Christmas then spread out the earning and the spending. 

Say you're like me with the surveys and you earn $100 every other month. Just plan to use that when you earn it earlier in the year. 

Gift yourself
Do you have an awesome talent or expertise that can be gifted? One year my bff Becky who is a super talented photographer gave me a family photo shoot as a gift. It was fantastic, we got to see her and hang out for the day plus there were some great photos. 

One thing I've thought about giving is my family history expertise. There are definitely a couple of family members who I would gift some hours of scanning photos or helping with their family history. 

Not only is this a great way to have a no spend Christmas I bet family and friends would love to see your talent or expertise in action. 

Go for experiences
A lot of experiences could cost money but there are tons that wouldn't cost much or anything at all. One thing we love to gift our parents is dinner and a fun evening. 

Most of us already have some games and if you're anything like me you've got enough stock piled in your fridge and freezer to make several meals without go to the store. Or are they more the outdoors type? Find a local park or forest preserve that you haven't been to and meet up for a day outside together. 

I know most of us have those people in our lives who just want to spend time with us no matter what we're doing.

Have you done a no spend Christmas? Any tips? Or are you up for the challenge to join me in it this year?!

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