Christmas on A Budget: How to get everyone what they want for christmas when your short on cash

Hello! Welcome Back! I hope you’re having a great start to your weekend, are you doing anything festive? I’m going to be finishing up my Christmas shopping which kind of has me stressed out. Like some of you, blogging isn’t my full time job…heck I wouldn’t even call it a part time job in the sense of income. Which means, I do have a full time day job. It’s in retail, so I get paid hourly which yup, you guest it doesn’t leave me rolling in endless amounts of cash. Especially not this holiday season, I get paid biweekly and my next check hits… the day AFTER Christmas which doesn’t do me much good. So I’ve had to become pretty resourceful on how to afford everyone’s gift while still having enough to pay bills and daily living. Which is why I wanted to share with you my tips on how to get everyone on your list exactly what they want without breaking the bank.

Write Out a Budget

For me, giving gifts is something I love to do. I absolutely love spoiling my friends because gift giving is my love language. It’s how I show them that I care about them and appreciate them, so it’s important that I get them something they’ll absolutely love and something that will make them feel spoiled. Hopefully by now none of us are strangers to budgeting for our daily life without Christmas being thrown into the mix so this tip won’t be some foreign idea. However if it is and you’re low on money budgeting out your Christmas presents is really helpful. Write out each person you have to buy a gift for, then write out how much you want to spend on them. I like to over budget so I’ll write down the maximum of how much I’ll spend on them. This way you’ll have some wiggle room if you see last minute small gifts or you have unexpected expenses in your personal life. Once I write out how much I want to spend on everyone I like to add it up and subtract that from what’s currently in my bank account so I know how much I have for everyday things like gas for my car, food and bills. I like to do this before I buy any gifts so that I can adjust it if I find that my gift ideas don’t work in my budget.

Gift Sets

When you’re on a budget, gift sets are going to be the best thing to buy. This allows you to get the person on your list multiple things for one lump sum. For example, one of my friends wants an eye cream for Christmas, so I got her a gift set from a luxury brand that has a full size eye cream and then travel size day & night moisturizer. This way she gets what she wants and feels spoiled but I also make it worth my money because she will get more than just the one item. This time of year you can find so many gift sets that will have a great overall value to them. Whether it’s coffee gift sets or cosmetics you are bound to find great deals to spoil your love ones without sending you into massive debt.

Stocking Stuffer’s

Like I mentioned earlier, gift giving is how I let people especially my friends know that I love them. So I always like them to have one big gift and than some little things to open as well. Stocking stuffer’s are great for this. I like to buy travel size items for my friends so that they have a bunch of little things to open and it looks like they got a lot for without having to spend a lot. My friends are always coming to me for beauty advice so I take full advantage of the questions they ask me around Christmas. If one of them is struggling with dry hair, I’ll get them single packet hair masks. If they’re struggling with dry skin, I’ll get them a couple of sheet masks. Small things that they can try and enjoy. One thing I did for a friend a few years back was buy some 99 cent travel jars and fill them with some of my favorite products that I already owned. I gave her some of my favorite lotion, some of my favorite hair mask, some of my favorite body scrub…enough of each product for her to have a really lovely pamper night and feel special and I didn’t even have to spend 10 dollars.

As I wrap this post up (pun very much intended) I do want to stress that Christmas isn’t about the gifts and if one of your friends makes you feel like it is when they know you’re struggling with money…you need a new friend. You should never feel like you have to buy someone something BUT buying the people you love something that you know they wouldn’t buy themselves is always nice. There are so many different things that you can do to ensure they have a great present to open at Christmas without putting your daily expenses at risk. What do you do to save some money when it comes to buying Christmas gifts? Let me know down in the comments! Thanks for stopping by…until next time

Be Nice. Be Good.

Mich. x


Simply Michelle

Hi! I’m Mich. I’m a 26 year old young woman trying to navigate adulthood and all the challenges it brings. On Simply Michelle you will find genuine posts about a wide range of topics from mental health & faith to makeup & baking. This is my safe place to be vulnerable and hopefully you'll feel that you can do the same. I hope you stick around!

Be Nice. Be Good. x

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  1. Ashley Firth says:

    There are some great tips here! I had never thought of buying travel sized items! This is such a fabulous idea! These gifts will be really appreciated by my friends and family! I really need to take your advice and budget for next Christmas – I’m hopeless 🙂

    1. Don’t worry, even though I budget i’m still hopeless. I always have to give my best friend her gift early or else i’ll just keep buying her stuff lol! xx

  2. Great tips! For family presents I always sit down with my mum and we plan gifts together. My dad, my aunt and my nana all have December birthdays, as does my mum’s best friend so December can be a tough one! Sometimes for us it’s not even about accommodating the budget, it’s knowing what to buy them when they’re so close together. Gift sets can get you some great bargains at this time of year. And I think it’s so sweet that you like to spoil your friends so much! x


    1. thank you! I can only imagine how tough it would be to make sure they have something for both days. hope they all got what was on their wishlist xx

  3. I love this post Mich! Amazing tips! It can be so easy to spend too much during Christmas. It’s so important for people to know that they should stay within their budget during the holiday season.

    Taiwo | 💖

    1. I completely agree, you kind of get sucked into how good the deals are and how much you want to spoil someone that you can forget that unexpected expenses can come up.

  4. I really love your gift idea of filling a jar with mini size products. I did something similar for my boyfriend few years ago, but I filled it with different chocolate bars and mini Nutella.

    1. ohhh a jar full of chocolate, I would love that! I’m gonna have to sneakily pass that idea into my friends for any last minute gifts lol! x

  5. Im so glad i came across this!! Im going to do all my christmas shopping on monday and this was perfect to read before hand!!xx

    1. ah! i’m just getting to this now, i hope these tips were helpful during your christmas shopping xx

  6. Such great ideas and tips. Never a need to over spend at Christmas x

    1. it can be so easy to overspend because you forget how much you have for a person x

      1. Isn’t that the truth x

  7. Great tips. Christmas can be seriously tough money wise. I’ve really gone OTT on presents for people this year like I’m a little disgusted at how much I’ve spent but at the same time I love treating people I love so I don’t regret it. But I know in the future I’ll need to budget more x

    1. I’m the exact same way, I bought my one friend a Michael Kors purse and even though it was massively on sale and don’t regret buying her it in the slightest i’m still shocked at how much i spent

  8. These are great tips! The jar full of travel minis is a great idea as they get to try lots of products! xx

    1. thank you! glad you enjoyed xx

  9. These are really good tips! I love giving gift sets, always feels like I’m getting so much more for my money and the recipient gets a few little bits to try! xx Naomi

    1. so glad you enjoyed, thank you for reading xx

  10. kelsey says:

    Good tips! I love gift sets myself and often buy some if they contain every day essentials because they are such good value for money.

    1. Oh i love buying myself gift sets this time of year as well!

  11. Miss Blogs-A-Bit says:

    Love this post Mich. I get paid monthly so I’m always planning ahead just in general life, nevermind for Christmas! I totally agree that sometimes smaller, more purse friendly gifts can actually be more thoughtful and well received than big, expensive presents. For the last few years I’ve just stuck to buying for my immediate family and nephews. My friends and I no longer buy for each other especially as now a lot of them have kids of their own. A good alternative is secret santa between your group of friends, as at least everybody ends up with a gift that way 😁😁

    1. yes i love the idea of a secret santa! xx

  12. Mich this was so helpful. I never thought about writing out a budget. You know whenever you write stuff down it’s easier to see exactly how things will go, it’s like you see you plan on paper. I like this tip because it’s a nice way to stay organized and not overspend, plus I can see how much I spend on one compared to another and balance out the budget even better! What a lovely revelation, something so simple yet super effective. 🙂

    Natonya |

    1. thank so much for this insightful comment Natonya! i’m so glad you found this post helpful ❤️❤️

  13. Great tips here, it can be so stressful at Christmas, trying to make sure you have everything you need, it really does take it’s toll on your bank account. I always buy a load of practical items and make a hamper, works a treat.

    Jordanne //

    1. yes that’s such a fantastic idea jordanne, i’ll have to try that next year! xx

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