How To Survive Christmas (Without Going Broke)


Survive Christmas without going broke. Use these five tips to enjoy your holiday without wrecking your budget. Surviving the Christmas season without over spending is tough.

It is especially difficult if people perceive you as being the person with her financial act together.

It is like people can’t comprehend the concept of living on a budget and spending less than you earn…and when Christmas rolls around, ALL bets are off!

Personal Finance Junkies know that Christmas does not give you a license to put your financial goals on the back burner or be irresponsible with money.

In truth, I don’t want to participate in the giving OR receiving part of Christmas.

I’m no Scrooge or nothing…but a girl still has a crap load of student loan debt to pay off. #she’sbroke.

And even if I was already debt free, I just don’t like the idea of someone telling me that I HAVE to spend money on a gift simply because it is December 25th.

That leads us to the survival techniques.

Each year I come up with a new technique to avoid blowing my budget and/or explaining my bank account situation when someone gives me or my kid a gift that I REALLY wish they hadn’t.

I am going to share the top 3 strategies that I use to survive Christmas year after year without going broke. I also have 2 bonus techniques for you (if all else fails).

I will warn you that my techniques aren’t the most ethical but they work so keep reading if you want real results. Leave now if you are easily offended or disgusted by lying and manipulation. #disclaimer

Related: Do you like free stuff? Check Out My Free Printables Store 

Survive Christmas Without Going Broke: 5 Tips

I will warn you that my techniques aren’t the most ethical but they work so keep reading if you want real results. Leave now if you are easily offended or disgusted by lying and manipulation.

#1. Start subtly reminding everyone about your gift giving and receiving policy around Thanksgiving.

You have to casually work it into conversations. Don’t forget to drop hints at work too because co-workers are always expecting a gift (even the ones who talk about you behind your back).

I’m not saving your policy has to be NO GIFTS AT ALL. You may have saved all year to buy gifts and have a set budget. I don’t know your policy but whatever it is you need to get it out there quickly and repeatedly.

#2. Begin talking about your financial goals incessantly.

Are you trying to get out of debt? Perfect! Talk about that…and do a lot of heavy sighing so people will think that you are stressed and feel sorry for you.

This method is very effective because what normally happens is people will INSIST that you keep your money to pay off your debt and forgo their gift. I hate to resort to this tactic because I don’t like people feeling sorry for me but desperate times call for desperate measures.

#3. Tell your kids that you (as a family) don’t celebrate Christmas anymore.

After they lose their cookies and throw the biggest tantrum in the history of tantrums. Calmly state that you see their point and you are willing to negotiate. Then let them know that you would be willing to sacrifice and get them just 1 gift this year.

They will be so relieved that Christmas isn’t cancelled they will immediately take the deal. If they don’t agree right away, then they are brats who don’t deserve Christmas anyway so you shouldn’t feel bad about not getting them a gift.

Bonus 1. Post a message on Facebook saying your credit was stolen the day after Thanksgiving.

After you post your message, sit back and wait for all of the “sad face” emojis and supportive comments from friends and family.

Once the comments really start pouring in, post this EXACT response:

“yea this really sucks. The worst part is I was about to do all of my Christmas shopping today. Now every card that I have is FROZEN. I guess Christmas is cancelled this year. #smh #worstdayever”

Make sure this message gets to your grandmother and other associates not on Facebook.

Bonus 2. Start saving months in advance.

Ok, I realize that not everyone is as big of a jerk as I am. Maybe you actually feel bad when you hurt someone’s feelings. Maybe you care about other people’s expectations. If you just HAVE to give gifts, then you have to start saving months in advance.

While I don’t believe in giving Christmas gifts, I do give to various causes and special events (like office birthday parties) throughout the year.

I handle those events by allocating a set amount in my monthly budget to my Capital One 360 account called “gifts”. Capital One 360 is a great way to save for special events because they allow you to open multiple savings accounts and actually name them whatever you want.

They even have a feature for setting goals for each account.

Let’s say you want to save $1,000 for Christmas shopping. You just set the goal right in the banking portal and start making deposits. You will see a “status bar” right inside your account indicating how close you are to accomplishing your goal.

Related Reading That Will Help You Save Money

Navigating the holidays can be tough. You need a battle plan in advance if you want to survive without going broke. You can use my tips to make sure everyone is clear about your policy on gift giving.

Make sure your loved ones also know the reasons WHY you don’t want to spend money on Christmas gifts. Some good reasons include, you are trying to get out of debt, you are saving for a home or other large purchase, or maybe it’s just not what you want to do with your money.

Whatever your reasons are, I’m sure the people who love you will understand. If they don’t…see bonus strategy number 1.

How will you get through Christmas this year without growing broke?