How To Have a Fabulously Frugal Christmas

You may be thinking, it’s far too early to be thinking or talking about trying to have a frugal Christmas, but really, is it?

Is it too early, or are we just shying away from the subject because it comes with unwelcome things attached to it?

Things like:

  • Having all those conversations about whose turn is it to host and who to invite
  • Memories of last year when things didn’t go according to plan
  • Wondering how you are going to be able to afford it because this year things are tighter than ever

The festive time is a big deal for most of us.

There is an expectation that we should provide an amazing holiday experience and nothing is too much trouble for our loved ones.

Christmas comes only once a year so it is natural to want to treat the family but there is an elephant in the room that seems to get bigger each year.

The cost of Christmas

Or rather, the cost that can happen if you’re not keeping a close eye on and planning out your festive expenses.

Added to that is the expectation from our loved ones that cost is not something to worry about at Christmas.

Indeed in a 2019 survey 1/3rd of Brits had no idea how much they spend on presents! Another survey by Deloitte showed that the average US household was planning to spend $1500 at Christmas.

Nobody wants to be called a cheapskate at Christmas. The fear of being called a cheapskate can lead you into spending way more than you planned.

It stops you from having honest conversations with family and friends about the state of your finances. And that fear is why you end up with debt you didn’t want in January.

The good news is, Christmas doesn’t have to be an out-of-control spending spree. You don’t need to act like a cheapskate in order to keep Christmas spending under control.


All you need is a plan. And a structure to make sure you stick to your plan. A plan without structure is a plan asking to fail. When I say plan I mean thinking about and planning things like:

  • How much you want to spend,
  • What your total budget is,
  • Who you are buying gifts for
  • What festive events you are likely to attend
  • How you want to decorate your house
  • What your Christmas travel plans are
  • What visitors you’ll have, and
  • What meals you’ll be hosting

Related post: 20 Wonderful Christmas Traditions to Start This Year

smiling child in Santa outfit
A frugal Christmas can be fun!

Festive Money Planning that works

I have been stretching my money and being frugal for more years than I care to mention (because it makes me feel old!)

And Christmas is the one time when I try to ramp up my organization and budgeting an extra notch.

Because debt in January was something we could not afford to have years ago. We literally had no spare money for the repayments.

Over the years I have crafted a system that works without fail every time. I love knowing that I am not going to overspend at Christmas.

It allows me to enjoy the whole Christmas preparation period so much more.

Although I don’t truly love Christmas – too much temptation to eat too much, especially chocolate!

My Frugal Christmas planning

Sinking funds

In the ideal world you would save for Christmas every week or month of the year. That way you spread the cost as much as possible so it doesn’t cost too much each month.

My reality is that I didn’t always have spare money to do that 12 months of the year. Too many bills and not enough income.

Especially when we were trying to live on one income.

Related post: Sinking Funds For Beginners: What You Need To Know

Woman Stuffing US Currency Coins Piggy Bank Cash Savings

Buy presents throughout the year

Stocking stuffers and some presents can be bought throughout the year especially for close family and you know them so well.

Some of the best deals on gifts can be found right after Christmas.

If you’ve planned your money you can take advantage of these deals and put the presents away for 11 months.

Just remember where you put them and don’t lose 2 sacks of presents like I did! I found them 18 months later – oops!

Related posts:

How To Buy Xmas Gifts – When You’re On a Tight Budget

How to have an amazing Christmas on a budget

Gift wrap and extras

Again some of the best deals for these are immediately after Christmas. I haven’t paid full price for wrap, gift bags or cards for years. When you can get them for 50% or more off, why pay full price?

I keep my whole frugal Christmas planning in one place. A place that allows me to know immediately where I am at.

I know how much budget I have left, what gifts I have bought and my plans for the weeks and months ahead.

Related posts:

Save Money When You Always Buy These 9 Things After Christmas

9 Things I Refuse To Buy This Christmas

This toolkit will make your Christmas budget a total success this year:

mock up images of smart savers festive money binder

My Festive money binder

My Festive Money Binder is my number one essential tool to not just keeping to my budget but setting it in the first place.

It organizes my Christmas planning, helping me know exactly what I’ve spent, and on what, all the time.

Using the Festive Money Binder means you can:

  • Eliminate your holiday stress and anxiety forever
  • Create a budget that is right for you and stick to it
  • Take back your love of all things Christmas

It’s the easy way to save and plan your festive spending safe in the knowledge that you will not have that January debt hangover.

No more:

Realizing on Christmas Eve you have bought an uneven number of presents for children (you know they count them for sure).

Going over budget and continuing to panic buy.

January debt hangover – start the new year in the black.

The Festive Money Binder is:

Everything you need to create a frugal Christmas budget and track your spending

Pretty colors, a chic take on the traditional Christmas colors

Stylish and colorful without eating your ink

mock up images of smart savers festive money binder

The Festive Money Binder includes:

  • Festive goals and reflection worksheets
  • Budget and category decision worksheets
  • Detailed monthly budget worksheets
  • Festive savings plans
  • Budget trackers for your categories (so you always know where you are with your money)
  • Daily, weekly and monthly planners
  • Online shopping and returns worksheet (it’s so easy to forget these!)

Enjoying Your Frugal Christmas

Using my Festive Money Binder every year I know I will have finished all my Christmas preparations early.

Not only that but money never ruins my Christmas now. I no longer worry about it because I know I’m not going to get into debt.

And the best thing is, no more stressing in December and rushing about. I’m at home finishing off my plans and enjoying the Christmas build up.

You can find out more about how to get your copy of the Festive Money Binder here

mock up images of smart savers festive money binder to help you have a frugal Christmas

Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!

pinterest image for festive money binder and a frugal Christmas
pinterest image for festive money binder and a frugal Christmas

Last Updated on 9th March 2022 by Emma

About Emma

I'm here to help you become confident in making the best money decisions for you and your family. Frugal living has changed my life, let me help you change yours.

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