How To Stay On Budget This Christmas Season


Christmas is one the most anticipated holidays of the year. However, it can be a stressful time financially for families. Christmas can be overwhelming with many commitments, including buying Christmas gifts, decorations and cards, and contributing to special charity events and potlucks that can put you way over budget.

1. The Average Cost Of Christmas  

You maybe shopping for holiday decorations and presents as the holidays approach. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), holiday and seasonal trends survey, shoppers will spend an average $998 to buy gifts and other holiday items during the 2021 Christmas season.

The average planned expense per person in 2021 of $998 consists of:

□ $648 in gifts for family, friends and co-workers.

□ $231 for items such as food, decorations and cards.

□ $118 for other non-gift purchases.

The U.S. holiday spending has been increasing steadily every year, and 2020 was no different, despite the COVID-19 epidemic. According to NRF reports, Americans spent $789 billion last holiday season. This was 8.3 percent more than expected and exceeded forecasts. This was also the 13th consecutive year that holiday sales grew.

The 8.3 percent increase of retail sales in 2020’s holiday season (which includes sales between November and December) is more than twice that of the five-year average. The increase in sales may be due to people’s reluctance during the pandemic to travel, which allowed them to spend more on other things

Online sales accounted for nearly 24 percent of all spending in 2020. This is almost $209 billion more than in 2019. Online transactions account for just over a quarter of all sales, and many consumers prefer to avoid stores. In-store pickup was a great way to increase online sales. This allows people to purchase items even after the shipping deadline has passed.

 2. Holiday Spending Budgeting Tips   

Planning, creativity and research are key to getting the best holiday spending budget. It is important to shop early in order to avoid shipping delays and increase the likelihood of items being in stock. These are some tips that can help you save time and money this holiday season.

Make a holiday spending plan: Use a spreadsheet, or simply a piece of paper to determine how much you can spend on gifts. Also, allocate dollar amounts for gift recipients and categories such as decorations and greeting cards.

Handmade gifts are a great idea: You can’t go wrong when you give food items as gifts. Just make sure to be aware of any allergies that may exist.

Plan for next year: Save money in a high yield savings account now or a Christmas Club account to pay for holiday expenses next year. A head start can reduce stress and avoid credit card debt in the future. To avoid last-minute stress about gift giving, track gift ideas as they are received throughout the year.

Energy-efficient Decorative Lights  

Decorative lights can brighten up any space, from your home to your front yard. Although decorative and traditional string lights are an essential part of many homes’ holiday decor, they can consume significant amounts of energy. According to the US Department of Energy, American Christmas lights use 6.6 billion kilowatt hours of electricity each year. That’s enough power for 14 million refrigerators.

LED string lights are the most energy-efficient, as they use only a fraction of traditional Christmas lights’ energy. Cool to the touch, outdoor LED Christmas lights can last for forty seasons and consume 75 % less electricity than traditional incandescent lights. Also, compare electric rates in Pennsylvania to get the best rates available and analyze peak hours as well of various providers.

Take Control Of Your Lights With Timers  

No matter the season, smart light-timers can help you cut your electricity bill by allowing you to control when the lights are on and off. Pre-setting your Christmas lights to go on at 7 p.m. every evening after the sun has set can help you save money. Once you have it set up, you won’t need reminder to check on the lights the rest of December.

 Bottom Line 

Gift-giving to your family and friends feels less fun as you age. It can still be enjoyable if you find alternatives to traditional gifts. Follow these energy-efficient Christmas tips to save money on your holiday decorations.