If you haven't already started saving for Christmas, it's crunch time. Last year, Americans planned to spend an average of $908 on Christmas gifts. To make it more affordable for yourself and your family, here are six ways to save money and buy a present for everyone on your list.
1. Plan your budget. Start by making a list of everyone you need to shop for during the holidays and set an amount for each person. By budgeting beforehand, you won't go over your allocated money and spend frivolously. Plus, you can figure out exactly how much you'll need to save and how to do it.
2. Start saving early. By putting a dollar or fifty cents aside every day for a year, you'll rack up Christmas savings without a hassle. If it's too late to do that this year, try and put aside a larger chunk of money every week until the holidays. It'll be easier to put aside a smaller sum of money than spend one large chunk the week before Christmas.
3. Save your pennies: Put aside any spare change or bills you have laying around over the next two months. You'll be surprised at how much money you end up with at the end.
4. Reduce your subscriptions. Getting rid of or minimizing your subscriptions until Christmas comes around will save you money you may forget you're even spending. Cutting your TV plan is an option also. Netflix, Hulu, Birchbox and other subscription services allow you to pause your subscription for a few months without being charged. Put the money you'd be spending on subscriptions toward your holiday savings. You can pick them right back up after Christmas.
5. Save the money you'd spend on everyday items: You'll still need to buy groceries and other necessary items while you're saving for Christmas gifts. Consider shopping sales or cutting coupons for the next few months.
6. Plan a secret Santa. If it's too late for you to save as much as you hoped to spend but you still want to buy meaningful gifts, consider broaching the topic of a secret Santa with your friends and family. You'll be able to concentrate on a better gift for one person and spend less overall. Likewise, remember that when you purchase a gift for someone they often feel obligated to give one back. If you know someone will have trouble purchasing multiple gifts this year, offer up a no-gift pact and you'll both save.