Surviving the Holidays Lesson #8: Budget Friendly Holiday Traditions

Holiday Spending Stressing You Out?

The holidays are supposed to be a time for family, fun, relaxation and great memories! However, the truth is they can be really stressful at times.  It’s no secret that this stress too often comes from worrying about money.  Affording gas, food contributions and of course gifts, can be really tough!  Too many of these traditions can burn a serious hole in our wallets.


Fortunately you can still enjoy timeless holiday traditions while keeping your finances in check.  Take a look at these budget friendly holiday traditions.

Check it out!

Lighted Tour

Everyone knows that one neighbor that takes decorating his house a little too seriously.  While you may not be able to afford that electricity bill, you can still enjoy the bright lights at someone else’s expense.  Hop in the car with your friends/family, bring some hot chocolate, blast some holiday music and take a tour of the most festive neighborhoods.  Local zoos, gardens and city centers are great places to look too!


Take advantage of the snow (that is if you have any)!  It’s free!  Organize an event with friends to have a snowball fight or snowman building competition.  Make it competitive by offering up a bottle of wine or other prize for the winning team.  Going sledding is an obvious choice as well!  All in all, these simple activities are ones we too often forget.  While they are free, they can sometimes create the best memories.

Pot Luck it UP

Why feel the pressure to provide a huge meal for all of your visiting friends and family!?  Why not simply ask them to each bring a dish to pass?  It is a much less expensive way to keep everyone’s stomachs full while getting to sample all different kinds of food.  Yes you run the risk of quality control, but hey IT’S FREE!  Tell everyone what you need them to bring and make sure there are no duplicates.  Nobody wants 5 dishes of creamed corn on Christmas day.

Secret Santa

If you have a large family you might want to suggest doing a Secret Santa setup instead of buy gifts for everyone.  Not only does this save you some serious mental strain and time, but it allows you to use your money on one nicer gift, rather than 6 or 7 dink presents.   Be sure to set a price limit for everyone and you won’t have to worry about feeling embarrassed over who can afford bigger, better gifts.

You should be able to enjoy the holidays without breaking the bank!  Take a little bit of time to suggest these alternatives to your family and maybe you’ll be credited for coming up with the new favorite holiday tradition!  Feel free to comment below if you have any budget friendly holiday traditions.  We could all use a little help this holiday season!

Until next time,