The holidays are fast approaching again. For many, this is a joyous time filled with family and fun. For others, it’s a never-ending rollercoaster of money-related stress.

If you’re one of those who are stressing, take a deep breath. There are ways for you to save up money for Christmas gifts between now and December 25th. You see, you don’t have to wait until December to create your Christmas list and go shopping.

You can start planning right at this very second. Before you run off, though, check out these tips for saving cash during the holidays so you don’t blow your entire budget in one sitting.

1. Get Your List Together Well in Advance

There’s no rule saying that you have to wait until December to ask your children to start making their Christmas lists. There are a lot of great shopping opportunities that you can take advantage of throughout the year.

The main three are Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Labor Day. You can find deals on just about anything. If you’re going to begin shopping early, make sure that you make a list so you can keep up with who you’ve bought for.

After all, you don’t want to buy five gifts for one person and leave another out in the cold with only one, do you?

2. DIY

You don’t have to go out and spend a hundred dollars on a gift to show a loved one that you care about them. You can DIY a gift at home, and it can be just as special. You can make homemade photo projects.

Everyone loves receiving food and candy. There’s also something special about unwrapping a Christmas ornament around the holidays as well. The limit is only as high as your imagination — and Pinterest board.

3. Give Yourself a Limit

Before you start shopping, you need to set up a holiday spending limit. It’s easy to make yourself feel guilty about this; you don’t want to spend $100 on one relative and then $40 on another.

We’re here to tell you that that is fine. You don’t have to spend an equal amount of money on everyone! Instead, decide how much money you want to spend on gifts altogether, then divide that amount among everyone you’re shopping for.

4. Pay in Cash or Consider a Loan

It’s tempting to swipe your credit card for all of your holiday expenses. While it’s a good idea if you want to build credit and get what you need, there is a limit. You can use it for some items, but it’s not a good idea to use it for everything.

If big spending is a part of your personality, you could consider taking out a loan with no credit check. Just remember to pay off your debt on time!

5. Shop for Discounts

There are no rules that say all of your holiday shopping must be done in a mall. You’ll be able to find better deals in department and dollar stores. For instance, you can get your holiday food shopping done in bulk at Sam’s Club.

If you shop online, then your go-to is probably Amazon. They do have a lot of great sales going on around during the Christmas season, but that doesn’t mean you should make it your only option. You may be able to get a better deal from other places, like eBay.

6. Don’t Go Nuts

You don’t have to get your child a million toys for Christmas. Chances are, they will spot their favorite one and play with it almost exclusively. This doesn’t mean you should limit them to one gift, either.

There is a simple formula that you can follow. Get them something that they want, something that they need, something to wear, and something to read. So a video game console, a box of fancy body sprays, a pair of PJs, and a novel in a genre that they like would be the perfect set up.

7. Buy Combined Gifts

You can buy more expensive, nice gifts if you get two people one combined gift instead of giving everyone their own individual gift. You could buy a cruise for your daughter and her husband or kitchen appliances for a relative who just moved into a new home.

You may be worried that smaller kids will fight over combined gifts, but this isn’t always the case. A Barbie dream house is still a Barbie dream house, even if your daughters have to share it. It gives them opportunities to play with each other, too.

8. Save Money On Your Holiday Meals With Shopping Apps

Gifts aren’t the only thing that you will be buying during the holiday season. You’ll also need to pick up food for Christmas dinner. It won’t be quite as expensive as Thanksgiving dinner in most cases, but it’s still up there.

You can buy your food in bulk at Sam’s Club or use grocery apps like Ibbota. Ibotta allows you to get cash back on items that you buy at the store.

All you have to do is select the store, click on the promotion, and verify your purchase. Once you reach $20, the money will be sent to you via Payal. It’s a great way to earn a little extra holiday spending money.

Save Up Money for Christmas Gifts for a Stress-Free Holiday

Christmas isn’t a time of joy for everyone. For some, it’s a time of stress and chaos. You can avoid this if you save up money for Christmas gifts in advance and shop smart throughout the holiday season. Stay in control and keep your cool this Christmas.

Are you ready to kick off your holiday season the right way? Check our blog for daily updates on all things Christmas!