If you’re like me, the holiday season is also that time of year when waistbands and budgets seem to fly right out the window (stretchy yoga pants, anyone?).
Even with that notion, the holiday season continues to be one of my favorite times of the year.
I adore the family get-togethers, digging out decorations, gift-giving, classic holiday movies, the entire bit: right down to the sugar cookie-pine cone smell wafting through the house.
So how do we—the so-called “indulgers of all things holiday gift-giving, decorating and more”—avoid going completely broke this holiday season?
Below are the perfect money-making tips and tricks that will help you save money as well as cash in this holiday season, all while letting you keep those blissful holiday indulgences.
Here are five sure-fire ways to save money and NOT go broke this holiday season.
1. Spread The Love: Start Early, Save More
If you’re like me, holiday shopping in July just feels, well, wrong. Not to say that there’s anything wrong with shopping while donning flip-flops but starting even a month out is plenty of time to save money and make your cash go even further.
When we wait until the last minute, we’re apt to spend more on last-minute gifts, rush shipping, and even over-gifting just to “be safe.”
Here are some quick tips to avoid over-spending and going broke:
- Take advantage of before holiday deals: Businesses have already begun their holiday marketing and will often start sales on the weekends leading up to the start of the official season.
- Holiday decor: Recycle last year’s decorations. We can often use what we already own to decorate for the holidays, and then, if you must, purchase for next year during the post-holiday markdowns.
- Shop early: Choose one or two people on your list (the ones you usually spend the most on) and start shopping for them now. You’ll spread your budget further and avoid nasty rush shipping fees for those last-minute items.
By planning even a few weeks earlier, you can spread out your shopping and save money instead of frantically hitting the “buy now” button twelve times the week before the big day.
2. Earn Extra Cash this Holiday Season: Start a Legit Side Hustle
One way to ensure a stress-free and debt-free holiday season is by bringing in some extra cash. There are so many work-from-home job opportunities that it’s almost impossible not to find a way to make money from home. The best part: many of these are freelance opportunities with flexibility already built-in.
Start your search with a few of these holiday cash earners:
Sell Kids Items Online
Take Care of Pets
Make Money Using Cashback Apps
3. DIY It: Homemade Holiday Gifts
I also ensure I don’t go broke during the holiday season (while simultaneously personalizing my gift-giving) by creating homemade gifts.
Here are some awesome DIY homemade gift ideas you can create for very little, all while making a big impact:
- DIY mason jar gifts: Homemade jams or mixes for cookies
- Homemade holiday home decor: Think ornaments, signs, wreaths, and more
- Gift a homemade photo book with printed pics: Shutterfly always has sales
- Homemade photo collage in a frame
- Homemade cookie tin or jar: Complete with cookies inside!
- Make candles: Super easy and fun!
- Have the kiddos create crafts: Painting old vases, holiday cards, handprints on canvases, creating snowglobes (so fun), baking cookies, and more.
Homemade gifts are those little sentimental treasures that will be cherished for years.
4. Start an Online Business
Yes, you can start an online business, and it’s a lot easier than it sounds! Starting an online shop before the holiday season is a great way to avoid going broke this holiday season, as well as make money from your talent. If you have a knack for creating just about anything, you can start cashing in on your talent by posting those products online!
Here are a few ideas:
- Start a blog: You can generate serious cash flow through affiliate marketing, sponsor posts, and your own online products.
- Sell digital prints: Think holiday parties, holiday home decor prints, etc.
- Create and sell jewelry
- Home decor items
- Educational print-ups: Think about all those homeschoolers out there!
If you want additional inspiration, look at other eCommerce shops, such as those on Etsy, to spark other ideas of your own. Just be aware that some online platforms, while simple to set up, do charge seller fees for their services.
Related Content: The Most Profitable Crafts to Make and Sell
5. Discover Fabulously Free Ways to Celebrate
Some of my favorite holiday gifts (and memories) have cost very little or were completely free.
Here are some creative and fun ways you can spend little to no money and still soak in pure holiday joy:
- Host a potluck holiday celebration
- Caroling in your neighborhood
- Ice skating
- Hot cocoa party
- Going to a free holiday musical performance
- Host a holiday movie night
- Look at Christmas lights
- Build a snowwoman
TLDR: Save Money This Holiday Season
From swinging a fun side hustle to homemade DIY gifting and more, you can fully indulge in unlimited holiday fun, all while avoiding going broke and staying debt-free this season.
Here’s a quick recap of how not to go broke this holiday season:
- Shop early, save more
- Swing a side hustle to cushion the wallet for holiday shopping
- Homemade holiday happiness: DIY your gifts
- Start a store: Open your own online business
- Fabulous and free: Fun celebrations and experiences without the cost