WITH Christmas only weeks away and inflation still pressuring millions of Americans, one money saving expert has a great hack for saving money this holiday season.
In a recent video uploaded to her YouTube channel last week, Rachel Cruze detailed 10 ways people can save money while having a “minimal” Christmas.
“Christmas is just my favorite but it can be very, very easy to spend a ton of money over the season and then you pack on inflation with it and life gets expensive,” Cruze started out the video.
“I think people just feel the pressure during this time of year to buy gifts, to go to events and to have new outfits.”
She added: “It’s like every little thing that you have to do and then you look back year after year and things just are getting more and more expensive.”
Cruze went on to claim that Americans spend an average of $997 on gifts and other items during the holidays, with nearly 40% relying on buy now pay later programs for their shopping.
To help bring these costs down, Cruze highlighted 10 ways families can make their Christmas more “minimal.”
One particular hack she suggested is what she describes as the “four gift rule.”
“This is something to wear, something to read, something you need, and something you want,” Cruze said in the YouTube video.
“I love this because, again, it makes it minimal,” she said.
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“And you can say okay, yeah, we have our categories, the kids even know ahead of time, maybe, this is what you’re doing. So, they’re not shocked. But it’s kind of a fun way, a fun way to do it.”
Cruze went on to suggest that couples without children could do away with gifts altogether.
“This sounds very, not romantic, but you can just cut out gifts completely.”
Among her tips and tricks, Cruze suggested parents educate their children on giving back to their communities through volunteering, or taking part in an Angel Tree.
She also advised that families cut out unnecessary gifts like matching pajamas or highly-expensive items to give to Christmas party hosts and hostesses.
“You know you can DIY gifts, you can even offer to bring for the meal, there’s a bottle of wine or salad or an appetizer,” the money saving expert said.
“And if you want to make something this is actually a really great option not just for hostess gifts but other people as well.”
Another way to save money, Cruze said, is to set a budget for each person you plan to spend money on or even just cut back on pricey wrapping paper.
“You can find really creative ways with things like craft paper, and you can even check out a video I did last year on cheap gift wrapping,” she said.
When it comes to decorating the home for the holiday, Cruze advised people to stay away from purchasing lots of Christmas candles.
Instead, she suggested people try home aromatherapy to get the house smelling like Christmas.
Additionally, Cruze suggested that families do more simple activities together to celebrate the holiday.
“You know fun activities can cost a lot of money. So what are the three things you can do, like drive around, Look at Christmas lights? My kids love this,” she said.
“You know, get your minivan or your car, your SUV. Get all your kids in there, get some hot chocolate to make blankets, put on Christmas music, just drive through the neighborhoods and look at all the fun Christmas lights.”
Cruze also pointed out that it is okay for families to say “no” to various invitations throughout the holiday season.
“I just want to relieve you from the expectation that either friends are putting on you, family’s putting on you or culture is putting on you and do what you want to do. There’s freedom and others freedom and saying no, that again saves you time it saves you money.”
Cruze, daughter of finance guru Dave Ramsey, regularly posts videos on YouTube sharing money saving and investing hacks.
Last month, she shared organizing advice while working with a Dollar Tree budget.