The holiday season is a beautiful time of the year but, it can also be an expensive one. From purchasing gifts for friends and family to wanting to take advantage of all of the holiday cheer, it seems as though everything costs money. Is it possible to still enjoy and make the most of the holiday season even on a budget?

The answer is yes. You just need to be savvy about it. Do not fall for all the glitz and glamour that does come with the holiday season. You can still enjoy it in different ways without spending a ton of cash.

6 Ways To Make The Most of The Holidays Season on a Budget

1. Have Movie Nights At Your Home 

The holiday season means holiday movies (thanks, Hallmark!). It gets us into the holiday cheer, it transplants us to another place, and they just warm our heart. Plus, on those cold winter nights, who wants to venture out into the cold, anyway?

Have movie nights at your home. They are free and you can wear your pajamas! Up to you as to whether you want to do a solo night or have some friends over as well. Regardless of what you choose, you will be feeling the holiday spirit without even dipping into your wallet (unless you opt to order that pizza, which is still cheaper than a night out).

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2. Have Family Dinners

Have family dinners at home for your friends and family. You don’t need to go out to have a good time. 

Yes, it will take some time to buy and prep the food, but it will still come out less than going out for dinner and drinks. Have a potluck or two and have everyone bring their favorite dish — this will break up the amount that you need to cook (and money you need to spend). Or, just do a bunch of appetizers, some wine, and have that holiday music playing in the background.

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3. Gaze at Christmas Decorations 

Who doesn’t love seeing houses all decorated? There’s even full television shows about it now. Take advantage of the decorations in your neighborhood. Bundle up and walk around looking at them all.

With Facebook, many neighborhoods have private group pages you can be part of. Folks will post in these pages where the best decor in the neighborhood is. Go see them! Hop in the car and take a drive nearby to surrounding neighborhoods and see their decor as well.

4. Window Shop 

During the holiday season, stores will decorate. Take some time and go window shopping! Walk down the block that has all of your stores and gaze at their decorations.

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Walk in and see how the store has transformed for the holiday season. If there store or mall has an opportunity to take pictures with Santa Clause, stop by and have your picture taken (or see if they’ll let you sit on Santa’s lap without obligating to buy the professional photo). Even just walking around in a mall or street turned winter wonderland can get you into the spirit.

5. Neighborhood Events 

Most neighborhoods have a tree lighting ceremony every year that you can attend (for free!). This is good for children old and young. Coming all together (preferably with some hot chocolate) with Christmas carols playing in the background, awaiting the beauty of a lit Christmas tree — really, what is better to kick off the Christmas season?

If your neighborhood does not do this, or you are unable to attend, every year NBC airs the lighting of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center. Tune it! You will see the tree, see your favorite singers performing your favorite Christmas carols, and see hundreds of people already in the holiday spirit. It is contagious, you know.

6. Take Advantage of Sales 

Check on sites like Groupon to see if there are any discounts for any holiday event you want to attend.

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When it comes to buying holiday gifts, take advantage of Cyber Monday and Black Friday deals. Go to discount stores such as TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Home Goods. Shop online on sites like Gilt, Zulily, and Rue La La.

There are so many options to find your favorite brands (and your friends and family’s favorite brands) at a good deal. Take advantage of them.

And, if you are creative, make gifts for your family and friends. One of my favorite gifts I have ever received was a knitted blanket, that I use every day (well, every winter season!).


The holiday season is one of the best times of the year. But it can be stressful to many in terms of money. Do not let it be stressful to you! Always remember to not spend more than you can — do not feel embarrassed if you need to say no to an event your friends are going to or you ask your family for a price limit on gifts this year.

The above are some great ways to still enjoy the season without breaking the bank. What are some of your favorite ways?