How to Prepare for Christmas on a Minimalist Budget
Let’s talk about how to prepare for Christmas on a budget and as a minimalist. Many of us usually go overboard spending money on new decorations, extra little gifts, and the budget for Christmas shopping and decorating gets out of control.
We keep buying little things and end up giving them to people who don't necessarily want them. Here are 10 tips on how to stay on budget and become a Christmas minimalist.
1. Write a gift list
The first thing you need to do is to write a list of who you are going to purchase for. This is really important because I think you can easily get into the habit of doing every single person you've ever met and buying them little gifts.
That's just not achievable, that's not doable and it's unnecessary. It's buying gifts for people that you don't necessarily need to and it's about having valuable interactions with net and worthwhile experiences with those people. Think carefully about who you want to purchase gifts for.
2. Try doing a Secret Santa
if you're part of the same club or something, could you do a Secret Santa? We're only buying one gift within a large group, but everybody gets a gift and it's all a mystery and that's a little bit of fun.
So, we tend to do that at work. We have a Secret Santa and then I know I only have to buy one gift for that group of people and that reduces the number of additional gifts that you're needing to buy.
3. Share festivities instead of gifts
Christmas festivities don’t always have to involve gifts. I make time for friends by having dinner or coffee together around the holiday instead. It’s something my friends and I have mutually agreed on and look forward to doing every year.
4. Ask someone what they really want
I know that kind of spoils the fun, but why waste money on buying something that someone doesn’t want or need? Buying something that someone specifically would like gives the gift value and purpose and reduces the chance of it going unused.
5. Agree on a gift budget with friends and family members
Agree on mutual budgets when exchanging gifts. It doesn't have to be a big budget. Thought and effort are most important. You can be creative and think outside the box on a small budget and see what you can get for your money.
I've done that before where I agreed with someone else that we’d only spend £20 and we got as many things as we could for the money. There were loads of sales and I got quite a lot of items for £20 and they were things my friend wanted.
If you have an agreed budget, you won’t feel guilty if you buy something more expensive or vice versa.
6. Buy secondhand when possible
I know buying secondhand doesn't work for everything. And children love toys in packages they can rip open. But some kids don’t need boxes to rip open.
Do you really need a toy or item to be brand new? If you found a great secondhand item without a box, then it’s easy to get a nice, smart, cheap cardboard box that you could put in and still wrap nicely.
7. Keep decorations really simple
I have the same set of decorations I use every year. Simple items, like a green garland for my stairs, a couple of little hanging bits by my curtains, and then I have my real Christmas tree. That's it. I don't do lots of little tinsel or little ornaments. I keep it really simple and that makes it easier to store.
8. Avoid changing color schemes
I buy decorations in neutral colors for classic, elegant color schemes. I don’t change my color scheme year after year. If you keep changing themes, half your decorations stay in the cupboard for one year because they aren’t the right color. Neutrals keep it simple and streamlined.
9. Shop around and wait for the best prices
I usually create an Amazon wishlist for my son's items. He'll give me a shopping list around August or September. I will create a wish list of the things that he wants, and I watch the prices of items.
I'll also compare buying secondhand through selling sites or a local marketplace. I will wait around for the best deal because, at that point, I’m aware of how high or low a price will go.
10. Start as early as possible for shopping for Christmas
I'd suggest you start shopping for Christmas earlier, preferably in August or September so you can shop around for the best prices.
Then you won’t need to do a last-minute dash on Christmas Eve trying to find presents that people don't really want. You’ll have time to really consider your purchases. So having that time makes it a bit more of a relaxed experience.
You might pick something up when you go out somewhere for that particular person for Christmas. So, you already have an idea of what it is you've got in your head that you want to buy for them.
Having that time is really valuable. It means that you can wait around for the right price, it means that you can think carefully about what you're going to purchase for them, and you can get the items within a comfortable timeframe so you're not pressured.
Christmas on a minimalist budget
Those are my 10 tips for becoming a Christmas minimalist on a budget. Preparation is key for a minimalist and stress-free holiday. You’ll have the time, patience, and lower costs. You’ll be more organized, too.
Do you start Christmas shopping early or do you wait until the last minute? Do you think doing Secret Santa would work for you and your family? Let me know in the comments!