We can’t even begin to tell you how much fun we had recording this episode – especially Cassie! 🙂 Seriously, this episode is so packed with ideas on how to save on Christmas and find money fast to help you make this Christmas amazing – whether it’s weeks away or months away!
What’s this Episode About?
It’s time to talk about one of our favorite subjects: Christmas! More specifically we address a number of issues as far as short-term and long-term ideas for saving/finding money to spend on Christmas. Plus we share some creative – and fun – ways to save on Christmas.
We share from our own experiences how we began our journey from deep in debt and the role Christmas played. We then mention how we we could pull off a debt-free Christmas with two young children. Don’t think this will only work for families with young children however. We continue by sharing tips on how we still love our debt-free Christmas today with teenagers.
Just how much debt does the average American go into to pay for Christmas? Listen and find out!
How can you save on decorations?
From gifts to decorations, events and food, we know that Christmas can cost a lot of money!
We start with tips on how to find decorations for less!
- Check out the thrift store to find your Christmas tree and other decorations
- Get the Christmas clearance decorations for up to 90% off
- Look on the local classifieds websites
- Check for local sources for a real tree
- Decorate your house plant with lights. Seriously this can work!
How to save on Christmas presents?
We transition to how to find presents for less. Obviously this will depend on the family, the ages of children, and even the expectations you’ve set for your family. It’s so critical to set the expectations with your family – communication is key!
The secret of shopping for second-hand presents
We share a special Christmas moment where we found the desired big gift at a garage sale and added the accessories from a Black Friday sale. Our daughters still reflect on that Christmas as one of their favorite memories.
- The sum of that story is that you can buy a lot of gifts second-hand.
- This isn’t only for a toy kitchen, but look on Ebay or your local online classifieds and look for electronics or whatever gift you are looking for. See the resources below for that article about the quality of many electronics sold during the holidays. Is that why the iPhone X didn’t originally work in the cold? 🙂
- Check your local second-hand stores. We have found name-brand hand bags and clothing for our teenage daughters there.
- Many of those stores allow you to donate items in exchange for a coupon you can use on your purchase! We take a donation in every time we shop there.
Secrets for shopping for new presents
So often people equate Black Friday as the best shopping day of the year. We have found that many of the same deals – if not better – can be found in December.
Stack the savings! Look below at our 2% tip on how we do it – especially in one of our favorite stores, Kohls. You will love this – we guarantee it!
Dig into how to save long term for Christmas
Start your Christmas shopping in August – October. This timeframe is when the stores mark down last year’s deal to open up shelf space for the new items.
Start saving….right after Christmas! That allows you to hit those after Christmas sales and even hitting those sales throughout the year.
Use Percentage Based Finances to save! We mention the concept in the book, but set aside a specific percentage of your gross income into a separate savings account (wherever you decide to keep it). Our recommendation for Christmas is 1%. However, your family needs to decide what is right for you.
We answer the following questions:
- Should you start saving for Christmas even if you’re in debt?
- If you want more than 1% saved, is there any special considerations you need to be aware of, especially when implementing the 2% Rule?
What can you do now if you haven’t saved for Christmas this year?
Look below in the resources for the article on how to find $1,000 fast for Christmas. Here’s a few ideas as well you can consider:
- A dear friend of ours loves to paint so she painted business windows – We share details on how she started and then secured return business year after year.
- Setup a mom’s day out – Offer to watch the children while moms go out and take care of the Christmas shopping! We mention some tips on how our daughters are setting this up in the next couple of weeks.
- Consider selling newspapers as a great way to make extra income – Listen to find out the income you make and how to get started.
- Donate plasma – We’ve done this before and have friends and family that do this regularly. One person even shared that he makes $310 each month just by doing this.
- Shovel snow – Don’t consider this if you live in the south (mow lawns instead?). But, if you live in the north and have the opportunity this can be a great way to bring in some extra income.
- Sell items around your home – We just shared about buying second-hand items. Consider selling different second-hand items you have laying around your house. We share a couple of tips on specific items you’ll want to sell with one that you might not even expect.
- See if you have gift cards with unused balances – You just might find a gift card with a balance you don’t expect. One source we read stated that $1 billion value of gift cards go unused each year. We don’t expect you to have a $1 billion gift card lying around, but even $10-25 can help on your next purchase.
- Earn Amazon gift cards with Swagbucks – Alex shares how excited he was to find $500 in the Amazon gift card balance and how it happened. You can look below or use this link to get a $5 bonus for signing up just for using this link. Just recently a reader left a comment on how excited she was on earning $100 in just a matter of months with a goal to earn $300 next year!
- If you’re a photographer offer to take special family photos – This is such a great idea this time of year because families don’t want to spend the expensive sitting fees and hundreds of dollars for single picture. We just hired someone off our local classifieds and the results were amazing – for pennies on the dollar!
- Make gift baskets – This can be a great offer for professional offices that want to give special gifts to their clients.
- Write hand-written cards – In addition to gift baskets, many professional offices have a ton of cards they would like to send out to their clients. Help them out by signing their gift cards for them.
- Wrap Christmas presents – Many people love to buy gifts but hate the wrapping. Take away their pain and offer to wrap presents for them.
How do I get people to buy my services or goods?
- We’ll start simple – if you know people that might be interested then don’t be afraid to ask
- Advertise in local classifieds and associate Facebook groups
- Advertise to your neighborhood groups on Facebook
- Check with your church group
- Mom’s groups like MOPs can be another great place
- Your co-workers can be a great resource as well, especially if they know they are supporting your children in getting a little extra Christmas spending money
Our 2% Tip of the Week:
The 2% Tip is where we share an idea to either shrink your budget increase your income by 2%. In this episode we discuss a little of both. We first start with some amazing tips and steps for shopping online or at the stores to help you shrink your budget. Along the way we’ll mention resources to add an extra $30 of income just for signing up for many of these resources today!
These are the very steps Cassie has used for years to get the ROCK-BOTTOM prices on anything!
Here’s the awesome thing: If you can earn $350 and pay retail for those items, you just bought $350 of stuff. Use the tips below to save at least 50%; if you do, you can buy a value of $700 worth of items. Which would you prefer?
Cassie – the queen of savings – shares all her tips. She shares too many to share here, but here’s the links she mentioned with a high-level review of her steps:
- Buy a discounted gift card – You can buy discounted gift cards on average for about 10% off. Here’s the link we share in this episode to get your free $5 to use when you buy your first gift card.
- Use a cash back site – We mention our preferred cash back site to receive cash back just for purchasing through their website. You can sign up through this link to get a $6 bonus when you make your first qualifying purchase. We also referred to Ebates where you can receive a $10 gift card on your first eligible purchase with them as well!
- Find those sales that are at least 50% off or more – We love those clearance sales!
- Combine percent-off coupons with those money-off coupons – Not all stores do this, but some (like Kohls) will let you combine coupons.
- Sign up and use those rewards programs – Stores that offer rewards (Kohls offers 5% rewards meaning $5 back for every $100 you spend) just keep adding back to your cash back. And this isn’t doesn’t even include Kohl’s cash. Woohoo!
- Use a shopping app to get even more cash back – Use a shopping app like iBotta to get even more cash back after all your coupons! Cassie even shares one example how she received $10 back for a $25 purchase last year at JCPenney. Get an extra $5 from iBotta just for signing up through this link.
You will want to listen to this episode (start at 39:50 to get right to these 2% Tip for all these steps), slow it down and work through all the steps. As Alex stated, this section on how to save on Christmas presents is pure gold! If you signup for all the amazing ways to save you’ll add another $30 to spend on Christmas!
Resources mentioned in this podcast:
- Check out our book, The 2% Rule to Get Debt Free Fast: An Innovative Method To Pay Your Loans Off For Good . We break down the Percentage Based Finances concept more in depth. Find out how to set the percentage you set aside for Christmas.
- We created a 64-page workbook to give you the tools and the resources to help you pay off your debt. You can see the digital version or the printed version.
- See our Ultimate Black Friday guide in which you can find out the revealing information about the electronics made especially for the holidays. That second-hand electronic item you find just might be a higher quality than what you saw in the Black Friday ads.
- You won’t want to miss the 14 Ways You Can Make $1,000 of Cash Fast for Christmas. As promised, this is a quick list of money-making ideas.
- Sign up to start earning Swagbucks to help you earn a bit before Christmas this year and earn even more next year! Use the link to get an additional $5 on signup.
- Get a free $5 to use for discounted gift cards when you use the link we share in this episode
- There are two cash-back sites we recommend:
- We love the shopping app, iBotta, to get even more cash back after coupons! Get an extra $5 from iBotta just for signing up through this link.
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