For the peppermint mocha obsessed, snow day wishing, fuzzy sock wearing, “Elf” movie watching, sweater weather loving, holiday fanatics, this article is for you. This article is also for the budget conscious but holiday loving lot of you too!
The holidays are supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but when you’re on a tight budget they can feel like the most stressful time of year. If you’re broke AF, trying to save up or simply hate spending your hard earned “dolla dolla bills,” this one goes out to you.
10 Things To Do During The Holidays On A Budget:
1. Throw an ugly sweater party!
There never seems to be enough time to get together with all of your friends individually over the holidays, so why not see them all in one place? Host a potluck style party with yummy treats, festive drinks, and snacks galore. Not only can you get some much needed quality bonding time with your buddies at home, you’ll also be doing your budget a big favor by having everyone pitch in.
2. Netflix and freeze… I mean chill.
With the plethora of wonderful holiday classics it’s nearly impossible to open Netflix, HBO or turn on the television without “Elf” or “The 25 Days of Christmas” popping across the screen. Get some hot cocoa, stir in a few marshmallows with a candy cane and snuggle up with your pets on the couch. (Because who needs people when you have pets?)
3. Bake a Pinterest recipe.
Pinterest has holiday recipes for days, ranging from simple and easy, to “Cake Boss” levels of challenging. This means you’ve got options to satisfy everyone from the self proclaimed pastry chef in your life, to your slightly inept sister who can barely make toast. Find a sweet treat that’s best for your family and if it doesn’t turn out quite like Pinterest promised, you’ll have a good story to tell. You’ll also have some awesome bonding time with the family. Plus you’ll need some cookies for your Netflix holiday movie marathon.
4. Check out the local Christmas lights.
Most cities have a zoo or park event that features a decked out light display with motion effects and holiday tunes galore. If the city you’re going home to this holiday season is less robust in their festivities, drive around and check out the decorations in your neighborhood. If you do a DIY trip of driving around the neighborhood, the plus side is that you can always bring the goodies you made earlier on & blast your own personal favorite holiday jams.
5. Organize a secret santa.
Depending on where you are from this is also known as “white elephant.” Here’s how it works… you set a reasonable price limit according to your group of friends or family, draw names out of a hat and get matched with someone in the group. You then have until Christmas time to shop for that person and anonymously give them their gift. This exchange ensures that everyone gets a gift without breaking the bank. You can also get together and reveal the gifts if that’s more your style.
6. Get outside and play!
Rather than throwing down money to go skiing at a big resort, get your friends together and make your own outdoorsy game day. Since it doesn’t snow everywhere (as us southerners and west coasters know all too well) you might have to adjust your idea of a sled day for the climate you’re in. If you are lacking snow for a snow day, host a flag football or kickball tournament in a nearby park. Invite all of your friends, get your blood flowing and work off all of those cookies you’ve been wolfing down all winter long.
7. Make a DIY gift.
I am now realizing I might have an addiction to Pinterest… there are worse things.
The internet is there for you this holiday season, abound with ideas for do-it-yourself gifts for everyone in your life. Crafting something by hand is not only a great way to save money, it is a lovely way to show your loved ones how special they are to you. Taking the time and effort to make something will help get those creative juices flowing, is a great way to keep your younger cousins or kids distracted, and is a sure fire way to prevent being called the Grinch this Christmas.
8. Volunteer and give back to the community.
During the holiday season it can be easy to get swept up in the grandeur and festivities, but not everyone is so lucky. Taking a few hours out of your day to donate some extra cash, your time or your services to those in need is one of the best ways to spend a few extra hours; because Netflix will be waiting for you when you get home. Your time and donations mean the world to people who may not get to see their families or can’t afford basic things like winter coats.
9. Host a dinner party.
Going out to dinner can get pricey especially during the holidays. Throw pricey boozy beverages on top of that bill and you’re looking a pretty barren wallet for the rest of your trip. Instead of hitting the town every night, encourage your friends to come over and cook dinner together. You can sit around the table, listen to your favorite holiday Spotify playlist, swap stories and catch up, all while sticking to your budget.
Whether you have tons of decorations, a tree at home, or you are college student levels of broke, there are tons of ways to decorate this holiday season. Decking the tree with homemade ornaments, making gingerbread houses and icing cookies are all budget saving, festive ways to deck the halls this December.
Enjoying yourself during the holidays doesn’t require that you break the bank. So take a cue from the budget savvy without turning into the Grinch. Happy holidays to all and to all, a good night!
Fa La La La La, La La La La!