Like many Americans, we are a little tight fiscally right now. Especially considering that my last day as a full-time employee was last Monday! Until our house sells in Nashville, we’re doing a little relying on freelance and a lot of relying on God.
I admit that my love language is gift-giving and thus I LOVE picking out presents for my friends and family. But this year especially we’ve had to face the fact that they’d much rather have our presence than our presents, especially ones we can’t afford.
It’s hard to know precisely. but I think I spent about $70 out of pocket for Christmas this year. And I probably should have spent less; I got a little slap-happy with the after-Thanksgiving sales and bought Mr. V two ties that were a little more than I wanted. All of the money I spent, however, fell well within our Christmas budget. The cash went toward Mr. V’s ties, a gift for our best friend in the world, some homemade potholders for Mr. V’s mom, and a thrift store outfit for his sister. Here’s how I “financed” the rest. I hope you’ll be able to use some of these sites and tricks starting NOW to work toward saving money for your Christmas next year!
I’ve been a member of PaperbackSwap for over three years now. I’ve really limited the number of books I’m getting shipped to me lately since I have WAY too many—more than I could read in two years, probably. So I had some credits racked up from books I sent out. I was able to get six books from my mom, dad, and sister’s wishlists in gently used condition. Including one I’d had on my wishlist for two years for my dad! Sure, I wanted to give it to him in Christmas 2007, but now was just as good and the wait paid off! It was in pristine condition.
Swagbucks is an incredible program I’ve been using since about February that I found out about through Jessica Turner. You use Swagbucks as your default search tool online and rack up swagbucks as you search (almost always 2-3 a day, for me). Then you redeem these bucks for prizes or gift cards. The $5 Amazon gift cards are 45 Swagbucks; and since I think you can get pretty much anything on Amazon, I’ve always redeemed my bucks for those gift cards (they send a code via e-mail).
Your other bucks come from codes shared on their blog, toolbar, and Twitter; trading in old cell phones for them to recycle; shopping online; and referring friends. You are matched for the first 100 bucks each of your friends gets through searching. It rocks!
I’ve “made” about $90 in Amazon gift cards this year and used those to buy Christmas gifts and help buy my Ergo carrier.
Stay tuned for more ways to pay for next year’s Christmas! And while you’re waiting, Amy has some more great tips on this topic!