Updated: November 21, 2022
The holiday season is just around the corner. If you want to save money on Christmas gifts, now is the perfect time to start planning your budget.
Don’t use all your Christmas bonus and 13th-month pay on buying presents. Instead, plan your holiday shopping wisely so you’ll have money left for your savings and investments.
Here are 10 easy ways to save money when buying Christmas gifts. So you can avoid going into holiday debt and start the new year in good financial shape.
1. Make a list and set a budget.
This is a great way to save money, but not many people do it. Most would just have a running list in their heads, which takes a lot of effort to remember.
Save yourself the stress and write down everyone you plan to give gifts to. Moreover, decide on the total amount you’ll spend on gifts. I recommend 30% or less of your 13th month pay as your budget.
2. Categorize your recipients.
Once you have your list, assign them into two categories. First, people who’ll get special or unique gifts. These are your loved ones and close friends.
Second, people who’ll receive standard gifts. Your officemates, relatives, business clients, and good friends belong to this category. By doing this, you can now save on gifts through bulk buying as you’ll read next.
3. Buy in bulk.
This is especially recommended for standard gifts. I believe that it’s okay to give the same gift to everyone who is in this category.
I remember getting a big discount on 20 pieces of scented oil burners several years back. Then, I gave those gifts to my officemates and neighborhood friends.
4. Visit Christmas bazaars.
A great place to buy gifts is in local bazaars and tiangges, and several are already happening around the city. You can check my list of Christmas bazaars schedule here for starters.
Always remember to haggle and ask for discounts. More importantly, stick to your list. If you see something you like, but you don’t have anyone in mind whom you can give it to, then don’t buy it.
5. Watch out for holiday sales and promos.
Be on the lookout for announcements. Malls, boutiques, and even online stores will surely be doing Christmas promos and holiday sales very soon.
If you have a preferred store, then subscribe or follow their social media accounts. This way, you’ll know immediately when and where they’re doing a holiday sale.
6. Collaborate with friends and families.
I have a friend who has eight siblings, each of whom already has their own family. To save money on Christmas gifts, they agreed to buy gifts only for the children and leave the adults out.
For barkadas, you can agree to do a Secret Santa so that you’ll only need to buy one gift instead of several ones for each of your friends.
7. Get crafty and create your own gift.
Every Christmas, I always receive homemade cookies from a friend. She bakes them in bulk and gives them to all her friends and officemates. She claims that doing so costs much less than buying presents.
I also know some who give out shirts with his handpainted designs to his close friends. It’s a customized gift that I’ll surely appreciate receiving.
8. Give the gift of service.
This is a great way to leverage your skills and save some money at the same time. In fact, there was a year when I gave “financial advise coupons” to close friends as my holiday present.
I know a photographer who does family photoshoots as his Christmas gift to friends. Then there’s my neighbor who once offered to wash the car of his sister for a month as his Christmas present.
If you receive a gift that you don’t really need, then consider regifting it to someone else who might. Regifting is a great way to save money, but only if you do it right.
There are things you can and cannot do if you want to regift an item. You can read the general rules of regifting in a previous article I wrote here.
10. Send a sincere personal note.
When you’re really strapped for cash, then sending a personal note is nothing to be ashamed of. Buy a Christmas card or stationery and put a handwritten message of your thoughts and sincere greetings.
A few years back, I received a postcard as a Christmas gift from a friend who lives in London. The message written on it was so heartwarming that as you can see, I still remember it to this day.
What about you? Do you have any tips on how to save money on Christmas gifts? Please share them in the comments section.
What to do next: Click here to subscribe to our FREE newsletter.