Want to learn how to save money during the holidays?

It’s also time to get serious about gift shopping and party planning. Maybe you even have some holiday travel planned to see your loved ones.

While there’s a lot of excitement during the holiday season, spending money on extra treats, decorations, and entertaining can add up fast.

The average person spends around $1,000 on gifts during the holiday season. Plus, you still have other costs such as travel, events, decorations, and more.

Because the holidays can be so expensive, today I want to teach you how to save money during the holidays! I’m going to share ideas for keeping your holiday spending to a minimum without scrimping on the holiday cheer. I will also be talking about different ways to make extra money during the holidays – there are so many ways to do it!

I’m covering both holiday spending tips and making money because that’s the best approach if you want to learn how to save money during the holidays.

After all, the holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year (at least it should be). But it can add a lot of stress if you aren’t financially prepared to spend extra money on gifts, traveling, and entertaining.

Fortunately, there are ways to save money during the holidays that will bring you peace of mind and holiday cheer.


If you want to learn how to save money during the holidays, the very first thing to do is to make a holiday budget and think about how much money you can realistically spend this year.

I recommend seeing how much money you already have set aside for the holidays, analyze how much you think you will spend, and figure out what you need to do so that you don’t go over your holiday shopping budget. This is an excellent first step if you want to learn how to save on your Christmas shopping list (or any other gift-giving holiday).

Some of the things you should think about are:

Thinking about all of the items that you want to spend money on this holiday season will help you to create a more realistic budget.


By giving fewer gifts this year, you may be able to save money and time. Think about how much time and money it takes you to find each gift – where is a better place for that energy?

If you’re running low on time or money, or even if you just want to try something different, you may just want to give one gift to each person. 

Remember, the holidays are not about the gifts. It’s the thought that counts, not the gift or the amount of gifts that you give.


Fetch Rewards is a cash back and gift card cell phone app that rewards you for purchases that you’ve already made.

If you want to learn how to save money during the holidays, this is one of the easiest ways!

Then, you redeem your points for gift cards (to places such as Target or Amazon) and other rewards. You can then also use these gift cards to put towards your holiday gifts.

All you have to do is take a picture of your receipt with your cell phone, and you can easily earn points.

Here’s how Fetch Rewards works:


Rakuten is one of the best cash back websites, and it allows you to earn free money for spending how you normally would online. Whether you have Christmas gifts or other holiday gifts that you need to buy, Rakuten allows you to earn cash back.

All you do is click on a store that you want to shop through (they have tons of stores such as Target, REI, Walmart, Old Navy, Nike, etc.) and shop just like how you normally would shop online.

Rakuten makes a commission for referring you to the store you just shopped at, and they give you some of that money back as a reward.


If you’re asking yourself, “How do I stop overspending during the holidays?”, you may have to address your daily spending first.

This may mean canceling certain things now and resuming them in a few months time. Perhaps you completely get rid of the expense and save your money for months and years to come.

Some ways to cut back on your spending to learn how to save money during the holidays include:


To give fewer gifts this holiday season, one way is to start a Secret Santa.

This is where you only give one gift to just one person. Everyone draws a name and keeps it a secret.

You could even do a themed Secret Santa, such as games, movie night, travel, and so on.

This is something that we usually do with my husband’s family. The younger children still get gifts from everyone, but all of the adults simply do a Secret Santa exchange. It makes it much easier and more enjoyable!


Do you wait until Black Friday or Cyber Monday to start your holiday shopping?

If you want to learn how to save money during the holidays, you may want to rethink that. While you can occasionally score a good deal, the earlier you start your holiday shopping, then the more money you may be able to save.

After all, when a person is low on time and is feeling rushed to find a holiday gift, they are more likely to spend more money because they don’t have the time to find a good deal.


Do you use travel rewards credit cards? If you trust yourself to use credit cards safely, this can be a great way to get free hotel rooms or free airplane tickets so that you can learn how to save money during the holidays on travel expenses.

Some of my favorite rewards cards include:


Wrapping paper can easily add up and cost you more than you would think. There are many ways to save money on wrapping paper such as:


Doing your holiday shopping at thrift and second hand stores is a great idea if you want to learn how to save money during the holidays. There are so many great finds at thrift stores these days, and you can find clothes, books, toys, accessories, home decor, and so much more.

If you feel nervous about buying used items for your friends and family, remember that it’s the thought that counts. 

Plus, so many more people are comfortable using second hand items because it’s good for your wallet and the environment.


We all have so much stuff, and a lot of that stuff we’ll never use. So why add to the clutter this holiday season?

This year, decide to give experiences to your loved ones instead of stuff. Experiences don’t have to be expensive or extravagant. You can go ice skating, take a cooking class, go camping, have a picnic, have a movie night, etc.

When you give an experience, you are giving your time, energy, and thought. For many people, this kind of gift is bigger than any kind of physical stuff.


If you want to learn how to save money during the holidays and do something that feels good, donating to a charity is the perfect gift. It doesn’t have to be money either – you can donate your time!

Think about what your loved ones care about. Do they care about the environment, animals, children’s charities, etc.? Find a charity that matches their interests and you can donate your money or time. 

Getting together with your family to volunteer at a soup kitchen or making care packages with a group of friends – these are all great ways to show you care and make an impact.


Several ideas on this list involve giving your time because that’s the most precious thing we have to give. 

Think about how you can make time for your kids, best friend, partner, siblings, etc. We are all so busy these days, and something simple like grabbing coffee or going for a walk goes a long way. 


Many cities have fun, free activities planned all throughout the holiday season, and this is a great idea if you want to learn how to save money during the holidays. 

You can look online at your city’s events calendar and follow your favorite businesses on social media to find out what’s going on. For example, our city has a free tree lighting ceremony and dog parade. 

Planning to go to some of these events with your friends and family is a great way to make holiday plans that fit with your budget. 


The holidays are supposed to be enjoyable, but they can quickly become stressful if you plan too much.

Really think about how much time, energy, and money you have. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to go above and beyond, but only do what you want and are capable of doing.


The holidays can be difficult if you have strained relationships with some family and friends. Sometimes we buy presents and make time for people who don’t prioritize use, but it’s okay to cut those ties. You have to take care of yourself and the people who make you feel good.

When it comes to learning how to save money during the holidays, this is a difficult tip to hear, but it’s the truth.


So many people send fancy holiday photo cards, and while they are fun to get, they’re expensive to send. Making your own cards could be a more affordable alternative. Spending an afternoon making cards with your kids could be a really fun activity. 


Even if you aren’t a crafty person, you can learn how to save money during the holidays by making gifts. Some ideas are:

Those are just a few ideas of affordable handmade gifts you can give this year.


There is a chance you will get something you don’t want this holiday season, and it’s okay to return any of those unwanted gifts. Keep any gift receipts you’re given and return those gifts. 

You can use the money to buy something you actually want, or you can use the money for something else. Once the gift is given to you, you can do whatever you want with it.


If you want to learn how to save money during the holidays, you may also want to learn how to make money for the holidays. 

This can make the holiday season a little more enjoyable as you won’t have to go into debt or use your savings for your holiday spending.

Ways to make extra money during the holidays includes:


The holidays are extremely busy for many businesses around the world, which means that most of them are looking for seasonal help to get them through their busy months.

And the list goes on and on. If you want to learn how to save money during the holidays, making money with a seasonal job is one of the fastest options.


If you are wanting to make extra money this holiday season, then one easy way is to find items around your home to sell.

We all have extra things in our homes that we can sell. This may include things like clothing, an old cell phone, a textbook, and so on.

You may be able to sell your old stuff to:


During the holidays, many people tend to travel. If you love pets, then this is where you come in.

You may be able to walk dogs or pet sit for others and earn money by doing so.


Taking surveys is one way to make extra money for the holidays, and it’s very easy work. What’s also great is that you can make money from surveys on the side of other options on this list.

These survey companies are all free to join and free to use!


Don’t want to get a second job or take on a side hustle this holiday season? One-time gigs may be a better option for you because you can find ones that work for your schedule.

One of the best things about one-time gigs is that you usually get paid right after you complete the work, which means this can be a quick way to make money the same day.

You can just simply go to Craigslist and find the “Gigs” section.

Here are some jobs I found through a quick search on Craigslist:

During the winter, you will be able to find other one-time jobs such as clearing snow from someone’s driveway or sidewalk.


The holiday season means that people tend to travel more, and you may be able to find a house sitting gig.

As a house sitter, you may be taking in their mail (instead of letting it pile up in their mailbox or outside), keeping their plants alive, taking care of their pets, and more.

Most house sitters stay at their client’s house, but some may be asked just to check in occasionally.

Sometimes house sitters are paid – the going rate is around $25-$50 a day. Sometimes, you don’t get paid, though, and you may just be enjoying a nice place to stay in a new area.


Etsy is an online marketplace for handmade and vintage items, and it’s one of my favorite places to shop for holiday gifts.

More and more people are choosing to buy one-of-a-kind, handmade, and gifts from small businesses. This makes selling on Etsy a great idea if you’re creative.

You can sell homemade hats, holiday printables (such as gift tags or planners), custom mugs, prints or paintings, embroidered items, stickers, clothing, and so much more.

You can learn more at:


If you want to learn how to save money during the holidays, shopping online with Swagbucks is a great idea because you can earn cash back on your holiday purchases.

Swagbucks gives out 7,000 free gift cards every day, and they have given out $747,475,927 in cash and free gift cards since they were created.


I hope you enjoyed today’s article on how to save money during the holidays.

As you can see, there are many ways to save this holiday season, from saving money on your holiday shopping list, setting spending limits, to making extra money. These ideas will help you to watch your holiday expenses, while also still creating wonderful holiday traditions with your family.

There is no need to go broke for the holidays.

After all, holidays are about family and your loved ones, they are not about going into debt.

How much do you spend during the holidays? What do you do to save money during the holidays?

The post How To Save Money During The Holidays (20+ Ways To Save & Make Money!) appeared first on Making Sense Of Cents.